Politicians, entertainers and slay queens descended on the coastal town for politics, parties and blessers
Popular artists billed to perform at the ANC manifesto launch on Saturday were a no-show, allegedly because the party couldn’t afford their fees.
Well-placed sources told City Press on Saturday morning that stars including popular hitmaker Master KG and talented rapper Kwesta were intended to perform, but were told just a few days before the event that the party couldn’t afford them because its budget was “tight”.
Another well-placed source told City Press that Kwesta was offered not more than R35 000, which is not even half of his usual performance fee.
“This is strange because some of the artists were given the programme in advance. It is unprofessional and unacceptable. Some of the artists didn’t accept gigs elsewhere because they were booked for the ANC manifesto. What is sad is that they were only offering to pay artists from R10 000 to R35 000 and not more than that. So it was take it or leave it,” he said.
Master KG’s manager, Lionel Jamela, confirmed that he was no longer performing, but refused to state the reason.
Kwesta’s manager, Nhlamulo Baloyi, confirmed that the rapper had been looking forward to performing in Durban, but they had to decline the booking because they were not happy with “the offer”.
City Press tried to obtain comment from the ANC on Saturday but, with the manifesto launch, the party’s head of elections Fikile Mbalula was unreachable by phone.
Durban is known for throwing the best parties and many people were eager to attend and brush shoulders with their favourite celebrities and politicians.
However, there were few big names to be seen.
On Thursday night, in the city’s party hub, Florida Road in Morningside, it was only the popular Cubana that was packed to capacity.
Revellers let their hair down, dancing to gqom, the city’s signature music genre. Even then, there were few celebrities, politicians and big spenders to be seen.
There were whispers that some held their own private parties at their hotels and penthouses, with many booking into the five-star Beverly Hills and Oyster Box hotels in Umhlanga.
It was only at the ANC gala dinner on Friday, at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli Convention Centre, where the famous folk were spotted.
Singer Kelly Khumalo and actress Khanyi Mbau were seen looking stylish as always, with their baes.
But all eyes were on Environmental Affairs Minister Nomvula Mokonyane in a long pink dress that showed off a little cleavage.
That same night, City Press also spotted a few popular faces at Views at Twenty5 in Morningside.
Popular Joburg slay queens Faith Nketsi and her good friend Kim Kholiwe were dressed to the nines and made a grand entrance with the award-winning DJ Maphorisa.
They made their way to the VIP area, where they relaxed and sipped Champagne, as they were not hosting on the night.
The deejay and his decks were on fire, and Zakes Bantwini came out and took his deejaying to a whole new level. The crowd went wild for his hit Take Me to the Ghetto.
Midway through the producer’s set, he switched off the sound and sang struggle songs, and for a little while everyone felt like they were at an ANC rally.
City Press spotted free-spirited Uzalo actor Khaya Dladla dancing like a 16-year-old, while former Mamelodi Sundowns defender Thabo Nthethe had the time of his life on the dance floor.
We also spotted a posse of Mpumalanga-based slay queens, who asked not to be named.
One of them told City Press that she travelled by bus to Durban with her friends to look for a blesser.
“My friends and I have been here since Thursday and we are not going back without getting a man to bless our luxurious life,” said the petite 22-year-old.
Her friend added that they didn’t have a place to sleep when they arrived, but a “good Samaritan” had “blessed” them with accommodation at one of the city’s popular estates.
However, it did not come for free. The young women were anticipating providing “sexual favours” as their way of saying thank you to their blessers.