At home with Dali Tambo

By Drum Digital
23 August 2012

The mini-castle in the leafy Joburg suburb of Saxonwold leaves you in no doubt that this is the home of someone who loves art in all its forms.

Life-size mannequins stand sentry at the grand front door which opens to reveal a vast collection of portraits, statuettes, giant masks and antiques that wouldn’t look out of place in a museum.

It’s undeniably impressive, but the flamboyant style isn’t affectation. After all, this is the home of the larger-than-life Dali Tambo, a man who, unlike his legendary anti-apartheid activist father Oliver Tambo, fights inequality with art instead of politics.

Sporting creamy white shoes, blue jeans, a black custom-made jacket, a pink waistcoat and a long beaded necklace, Dali has lost none of the trademark fashion flair he showed when he presented the hugely popular People of the South TV programme for eight years, starting in the early ’90s.

A Chicco-style haircut and a moustache twisted at both ends complete his ultra-cool look, but Dali denies he’s a fashion victim.

“I’m 53 years old, so the days when I would change my look every two years are long, long gone,” he says in his impeccable English accent.

“I stopped doing all that when I entered my 30s. My philosophy has always been that it’s only me who must look in the mirror every day – and smile or be completely horrified by what I see there,” he says.


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