Social – Tim Tebeilas’ posh party

2013-11-03 14:00

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A mixture of academic pomp, gospel singing and glam celebrities with hothouse flowers and Moët resulted in a night to remember, writes Lesley Mofokeng

So Jacob Zuma didn’t pitch and neither did Mama Action (Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane), who was on the programme; and there was a vicious hail storm as we sat in the luxury marquee in the Tebeilas’ garden – but what a good time we had.

That’s if you ignore the long speeches. But the marquee was beautiful, a summer pavilion in cream and gold with table lampshades constructed of Akita roses, tuberoses, freesias and orchids.

The occasion was the 48th birthday party of multimillionaire Tim Tebeila and the celebration of the honorary doctorate conferred on him by the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta, US.

The academic procession into the marquee had all the trappings of a university graduation ceremony, complete with Gaudeamus Igitur and the national anthem, while the Soweto Opera Quadro delivered a rousing performance of You Raise Me Up and Remember When It Rained.

The MC, Dr Victor Ramathesele, introduced Tebeila as “Dr Rabbi” because he was baptised in the River Jordan.

The guest list was impressive and included Hollywood babe Terry Pheto; government ministers Aaron Motsoaledi and Dipuo Peters; A-list soapie star Sophie Ndaba; newscasters Bongiwe Khumalo, Cathy Mohlahlana and Sophie Mokoena; and Jozi’s glamour set, designer Thula Sindi, TV presenter Palesa Mocuminyane and comedian David Kau.

Motsoaledi caused a roar of laughter when he called Tebeila his “boyfriend” when he meant to say “homeboy”, and Peters regaled us with tales of parties at the now defunct ZAR nightclub in Sandton.

She was booed when she tried to make a case for buying e-toll tags, which I thought should not have come up in the first place.

Celebrating the rain, Peters sang the old Methodist hymn, Morena Ba Mpoleletse Fa O Nesa Dipula (God, They Told Me That You Can Make It Rain), which wasn’t out of sync with the spirit of the evening. It was basically a gospel concert with an impressive line-up, including Sfiso Ncwane and Sechaba.

As we nibbled on the entree, musician Bongi serenaded us with her cover of Anita Baker’s Rapture.

Tebeila, a teacher turned insurance broker and now a multimillionaire, was described as humble, generous and a doting father.

In his reply, he thanked his wife for putting the brakes on his spending tendencies.

The Tebeilas’ daughter, Mokgethwa, played Rihanna’s Stay on the piano and then sang Ricardo’s Daddy I Love You, easily the sweetest moment of the evening.

The menu chosen by Tebeila’s wife Pollet included char-grilled beef fillet or chicken roulade and imported gourmet cheeses.

Moët and Hennessy cognac were on offer and DJs Sbu and T-Bo Touch kept revellers up past midnight, when a gold cake was brought out with much fanfare.[gallery ids="81864,81868,81865,81869,81870,81866"]

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