Some sizzled, others fizzled

2009-12-15 06:38

Whew it’s been a tough one but we made it. FARRAH FRANCIS looks back at 2009 and at the stars who made headlines.


By far the most celebrated star of 2009 was Lira. Her win at the South African Music Awards, her marriage to long-time boyfriend Robin Kohl in a private getaway in Mauritius and her appearance on’s Tropika ­Island of Treasures saw the singer’s profile ­increase. The release of her live performance DVD, which was recorded at Carnival City to a sold-out audience, saw the country fall more in love with her than ever before.

As if working with R&B singer Amerie on the video for his smash hit single, Music and Lights, wasn’t enough, the release of his ­second album saw him collaborate with international rapper Nas on the track Keledimo. His win at the MTV African Music Awards for best hip-hop act also saw him do South Africans proud. Apart from his awesome achievements the rapper is just an all-round nice guy who also happens to have a love affair with the media too.

Brian Themba
What a voice, what a face, what a body. ­Themba gets our nod of approval for the best new talent of 2009. The hit song, Dominoes, had us humming along and the fact that he is a nice guy helped too. Let’s hope next year is even better for the man with the velvet voice.

Bonang Matheba
Her reign as one of South Africa’s most recognisable faces and voices continued when she managed to secure herself a slot on YFM. Her obvious sense of fashion and style set her apart from the rest of the pack while her infectious personality made her one of South Africa’s most popular celebs. Matheba believed that joining the YFM family was one of her greatest career achievements. She continues to host SABC1’s popular Live and we believe that next year will be even bigger and better for her.

Nonhle Thema
Succeeding Kelly Rowland as the international face of Dark ‘n Lovely, landing a full-time gig on Vuzu’s V-entertainment and then jet-setting around the globe to meet the who’s who of the international entertainment industry – it seems Thema can do no wrong. The petite TV presenter also threw a mega bash for her 27th birthday and legions of adoring fans pitched up for the event. The beauty has graced the cover of FHM and went on to host the highly successful Channel O Awards this year. It has definitely been a memorable year for this lovely lady.

Slindile Nodangala
With a background in musical theatre Nodangala has performed in Julie ­Taymor’s production of Lion King, ­Pieter Toerien’s Cats and Gcina Mhlophe‘s African Mother Christmas. We thought that a fulltime gig on a daily soapie (Generations) might be a bit of stretch. But slowly but surely she is capturing the heart of the nation with her ghetto-fabulous, shebeen queen character.
We love it.




Mafikozolo member Kgosinkwe really impressed us when he went solo. His numerous

performances around the country, including the Hennessy artistry concert and an

awesome performance at Afro Café, which saw fans flocking to Gold Reef City,

were truly impressive. Music fans had high hopes for Nhlanhla Nciza but it was,

in fact, Kgosinkwe who impressed.



Showcasing at New

York Fashion Week, SA Fashion Week and then launching a shoe line. We can’t help

but wonder if the man ever sleeps. Tlale is truly a South African gem and we

won’t be surprised if one day he decides to pack it all up for a full time gig

in New York.



Once just recognised for being a socialite Uyanda

Mbuli is a force in the style stakes. The former beauty queen launched her

Diamond Face Couture store in ­Rosebank this year and has dressed just about

everyone including Miss World finalists. And with the stunning creations she

churns we can understand why.

NEWS OF 2009

Michael Jackson dies:

By far the biggest news of 2009 was when the news broke that the

King of Pop had died of heart failure. On June 25 MJ fans around the world were

in mourning.

Soon after his death a documentary called This is It was released.

It saw people flocking to cinemas to catch a final glimpse of the man who taught

us how to moonwalk.

Rihanna and Chris Brown split

Pictures of a battered and bruised Rihanna surfaced on the

internet, leading to rumours that up-and-coming singer Chris Brown had beaten

her up.

It shocked the world and soon enough ­people were drawing battle

lines for Team Riri and Team Chris Brown.

Numerous public attempts from Brown to apologise to Rihanna fell on

deaf ears. Rihanna and Brown officially split after he was sentenced to

community service, which many felt was not punishment enough.

Oprah gives up

her show

After 25 years of tears and great guests, some of whom sometimes

jumped on her couch, and ­numerous “look ­under your chairs” moments, the queen

of talk finally announced that she would be calling it quits. Rumours of Oprah

wanting to find a replacement soon surfaced and names likes Ellen and David

Letterman came up. Whether or not it’s true, only time will tell.

Chomee is Jacob

Zuma’s girl:

Kwaito king Arthur Mafokate’s girl, Chomee, made no secret about

where her political association lay. The dancer pitched up at rallies and made

it clear that she was supporting JZ all the way. Soon enough the sex kitten was

being referred to as ­Zuma’s girl, which saw many radio stations not wanting to

give her CD a spin. Mafokate was quick to speak out against this but Chomee

still hasn’t significantly made an impact on the local charts.

Senzo and

Jason’s steamy kiss:

It was the kiss of all kisses on one of the country’s most-watched

shows, Generations. It sparked debate, controversy and even Facebook groups such

as “We will stop watching Generations if Senzo and Jason don’t stop kissing”.

The fact that two men kissed on ­national television was not shocking. However,

the ­reaction of the public was.


of the Year:


There was something about a dam and then Barker Haines was finally

caught and jailed. The nation went “huh?” and so did we. Even an interview with

Robert ­Whitehead saw him agree that the ­once-popular soapie had lost the


Promises of better

storylines were made. We are still waiting. It seems the Isidingo ­writers are

copying and pasting too much from daily newspapers ­instead of trying to be

­original. Riots over housing… where have we seen that before?


It was the most

anticipated comeback of the year and within only a few weeks of the group

releasing their album, Coming Home, there were signs that they had split up

again. (Zwai? Care to explain?) In the meantime, they have yet to crack the

local charts even though the album (besides that awful, half-assed ­attempt at a

CD sleeve) is pretty damn good.

Big Brother


One word pretty much sums up

this season’s Big Brother: Yawn. Though the show kicked off with a bang and saw

Thema and Khanyi Mbau strutting around the house in their ­barely-there bikinis

the show just went flat. The host?– er, what’s his name again??– failed to keep

us entertained but at least musos Bow Wow and Keri Hilson pitched up.

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