Social – PSL awards: A tough crowd to please

2014-05-25 15:00

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For a sports awards ceremony, the Premier Soccer League (PSL) Awards at the Sandton Convention Centre on Sunday night lacked the exuberance, passion and energy that the beautiful game is known for.

To say that they were flat would be kind.

It started with the winding queues that guests had to stand in to register. For a black tie event, it would have been better if a smoother process was implemented.

For proof of the shambles of the seating arrangements, ask David Tlale. I overheard the usually polite and soft-spoken designer throw a contained tantrum when he told one of the organisers: “I have a car that I can use right now.” Tlale rightfully protested after he was shunted around from the D-list back row to the middle of the venue and then back to the last row.

Matters came to a head when the same organiser threatenedto call security because the media were allocated seats, saying: “Working media is supposed to stand at the back and not sit at the tables.” Unfortunately, the seats were already allocated.

The theme was formal and guests donned their Sunday best from shiny suits and meringue ball gowns to designer and power suits. In the background loud dance music was playing.

Mafikizolo give it their all on stage, but fail to move the sluggish audience. Picture: Elizabeth Sejake/City Press

TV presenter Minnie Dlamini’s fashion parade of five tailor-made creations elicited a mixture of emotions from wild applause for the red David Tlale gown with gold embellishments to gasps of disbelief for the

superhero-inspired blue-and-white jumpsuit and drape costume by Asanda Madyibi. Dlamini tried her best to liven up the proceedings, but the audience was just not playing along. Even when Mafikizolo performed their smash hits, Khona and Happiness, the guests sat firmly in their seats. Tough crowd this was.

Then came the food. Butternut and orange soup with a crouton?–?how unoriginal? The soup lacked flavour and I still think it was made using instant-soup packets. The main course of a trio of meats?–?peppered beef fillet, lamb cutlet and roasted chicken breast, served with spinach and root vegetables and dumpling?–?sounds wholesome and soulful, but the presentation was badly executed. Thankfully, the dessert of vanilla-baked cheesecake was up to standard.

Mamelodi Sundowns celebrate with the 2013/14 Absa Premiership trophy. Picture: Elizabeth Sejake/ City Press

The soccer stars?–?from Itumeleng Khune to big winner of the night Sibusiso Vilakazi of Bidvest Wits?–?wore sponsored suits with team badges. But they were so guarded. PSL champions Mamelodi Sundowns and their coach, Pitso Mosimane, were showered with praise and confetti as they hoisted the Absa Premiership trophy. Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula was present as were Danny Jordaan, Kaizer Motaung and Irvin Khoza. Unsurprisingly, the afterparty was poorly attended.

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