The year that was

2009-12-18 13:38

In this last issue of the year the Pulse team looks back at the stories that made 2009 memorable. Here are our top 10 covers. These stories had people talking, SMSing and e-mailing their thoughts and what better time to give ourselves a pat on the back and toot our own horn. Here’s a peak behind the scenes of the stories. 

Mmabatho Montsho: More than the girl next door (May 10)

With the arts having suffered the most this year because of the recession, the little consolation we had was that the beautiful and gracious Montsho became a presenter of the SABC2 arts and culture programme Artcha. Thank God for small mercies. We did not want to miss out on the opportunity to meet her and give her a cover.

Who would’ve thought that the girl who always plays the girl-next-door could turn into a sex siren? The shoot took place at Gallery Momo to emphasise her new gig on the arts programme (Aren’t we clever?). The shoot was done in the beginning of May just as the winter chills began to set in and the leaves turned a delicious brown.

She donned a number of dresses from up-and-coming designer Sylvester Falata’s collection. Our footsteps were loud on the hard wooden floors of the gallery – which had the curator raising an eyebrow or two but Mmabatho owned the shoot. Then came Falata’s red coat, she put it on and it felt no woman had ever worn a coat quite the way she did. Falata even managed to get a couple of orders for the same coat after that! The magazine hit the shelves on and our inboxes were full. Our favourite comment came from a reader who said: “I can’t believe how hot Mmabatho looks – I put the cover picture up with the shrine I made of her.” It was all thanks to a wonderful team effort by our make-up artist, Merlene, stylist and brilliant photographer.

DA L.E.S.: On fire and heating up hip-hop (March 8)

DA L.E.S.’s On Fire track was burning up like molten lava and he was about to embark on a tour of the US and we just knew the cutie was a 2009 talent to watch.

After sourcing locations such as a steel works for the shoot, we decided on good ol’ Newtown in downtown Jozi – which was a fitting place for someone who was part of a hip-hop group of the same name. Expecting a total prima donna at the shoot, DA L.E.S. was actually a total professional arriving (almost) on time, allowing us to put make-up on him and then making him walk up and down the famous Newtown bridge trying to find the perfect shot considering the dismally overcast weather. With no wardrobe change and only a skateboard as a prop, we think the pictures turned out pretty damn hot. Definitely one of our favourites of 2009.

Penny Lovers: Kwela Tebza (February 22)

The Lerole brothers will probably win the social butterflies award of 2009 since they were everywhere and anywhere. Apart from being socialites they were just about ready to launch their new album and we thought they would look great.

Having approached the Lerole brothers for an interview and shoot, the boys came up with the idea to do the shoot at Aston Martin. Surrounded by ultra-expensive and ultra-posh mean machines seemed to spur the trio on as they posed for the camera. They came loaded with at least three costume changes and countless shades. To say that they were fun to work with is an understatement. They were eager and professional. After attempting different looks on a variety of Aston Martins, the winner was a background picture hanging on the wall with what looks like London’s gerkin. The fresh baby blue and the cream white suits worked so well that it was an instant choice for our cover. The band’s album Made in South Africa landed a few months after the magazine and it’s a must-have.

Kaos: Under the spotlight (March 15)

This year marked the 10th anniversary since Kaos joined one of the county’s most popular variety shows – Selemathunzi, aka Duku Duku. Kaos was worthy of a big up.

Louis XVI in Rosebank was the place to meet for the shoot. It turned out to be a nightmare. Despite making pre-arrangements for the shoot with the famous restaurant – it was in disarray from the night before. Then Kaos was missing in action. Several phone calls to each other with writer Farrah Francis saying: “I’m here!” while Kaos was saying the exact same thing meant that he was waiting at the wrong place. ­Kaos was waiting at nearby Latinova. The shoot lasted an eternity as Selimathunzi decided to shoot their show while we were doing our shoot. But the cover picture speaks for itself. Kaos is saying: “Come to bed.” And every South African woman is saying: “Yes!”

Paul Mnisi: Shedding the Rudeboy… (May 17)

This was the year of great comebacks and the man who presented Jam Alley on SABC1 and the Rap Activity Jam on YFM was back after a hiatus since 2008. He made poetry cool on the radio but now emerged a different man as a game show host.

There was a collective sigh when Rudeboy Paul gave us an exclusive look at his new image. Gone were the bongo dreads, in was a brush shave. He dropped the linen tops and jeans he was known for and donned a Vivienne Westwood shirt and Dolce and Gabbana suit for the shoot, and oh, did you notice that he is not Rudeboy anymore? He goes as Mnisi, Paul Mnisi. It’s amazing what a difference a few months can make. He arrived at Zambezi Lounge in Wynberg in high spirits and left us in awe of how stylish he’d become. He presented The Kids Are Alright on SABC1 and made his presence felt on the entertainment landscape, hey, he even earned a Safta nomination for the best game show.

David Genaro: You’re the man! (April 5)

Superbitches on soapies are so 90s, this year everyone loved hot-blooded male villains. Jamie Bartlett portrays David Genaro on’s Rhythm City and was involved in a three-way romance with two women that got tongues wagging. Rhythm City klapped all the others when it came to a tight ­storyline, great acting and ghetto fabulousness.

By far one of the most talked about covers of the year. Were KB and Tshepi Mashego really naked? That was the question on everyone’s minds. A Facebook group called “I love this cover” group was started which got the debate going … We got to the Sasani Studios in Joburg just after 6pm, but the winning shot came a minute after 11pm. After trying different looks and settings, it was this shot that we knew would best encapsulate the storyline. Barlett, KB and Mashego were consummate pros. There was no awkwardness as photographer Dudu Zitha suggested different poses. We will never reveal whether KB and Mashego were really naked for the shoot, but what a striking and fabulous threesome we had here.

Lira: On the road to SAMA glory (April 26)

You cannot mention 2009 and not include Lira in the same sentence. The talented singer had been nominated a staggering six times at the SA Music Awards, so we just couldn’t ignore her burgeoning success. By the way her live DVD has already sold over 20?000 copies in days.

Lira made the shoot as simple and painless as possible and the fact that she is gorgeous and towers over just about everybody helped too. She glided in and out of David Tlale creations and made each one look hotter than the last. Shot at Club Inc, the R6 million-club where just about every party is held these days, Lira and the team could be found in the VIP Champagne room where the cover picture was shot in the famous “white room.” The cover picture can only be described as ­delectable. Her flowing Diamond Face Couture gown against her taut body offset by the pure white was ­fantastic. The shoot wrapped in three hours and made us er, feel good.

Thembi Seete: At her fiercest (June 7)

Another comeback of 2009 you couldn’t ignore was that of Seete. After releasing the single Free, Seete had finally admitted that she was coming back to the music scene. City Pulse intern Zintle Makeng jumped at the opportunity to interview her.

She arrived with suitcases of her costumes and when we saw the gold and black ensemble complete with the gloves, “fierce” is what came to mind. Thembi was back and looking hot, her album was also packed with great music that was sure to get any reveller going and with that attitude we approached the shoot. She hopped on top of a table at Soulsa restaurant in Melville with those killer stiletto boots and her shades firmly in place and did her thang. The result was a catchy picture complete with a chandelier that looked like rain drops pouring on her. She had a good year all round ever since we announced her return to her rightful place as a queen of dance.

Face of Africa: The Search is on (October 25)

Since 1998, no winner of Face of Africa has had such impact as Oluchi, the first winner. As the new season started we wondered what the point was. So we delved into it and anlaysed the worthiness of the show with the help of former contestants Lerato Moloi, Adeola Ariyo and Kate Menson.

Shot at David Tlale studios in Parktown North, this shoot was certainly one of the most fun! The first to arrive on set was Lerato Moloi, as the face of Elizabeth Arden. Moloi was bubbly, bouncy and hungry. She munched on Nandos, raisins and Nandos again. She then admitted to us that she was pregnant and the world made sense again. Adeola Ariyo and Kate Menson were equally friendly. Their barely there bodies helped with Tlale’s size 0 dresses. The three girls shared tales about their Face of Africa experiences while changing and in between make-up and it was wonderful to get a first-hand account of their experiences.

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