Cape Town’s LOTs (Likers Of Things) came out to play last weekend and claim the bragging rights to being at the first TOPS Gugulethu Wine Festival.
The rooftop of the Gugulethu Mall was transformed from a dull concrete parking lot into a thriving, vibrant space dotted with stylish white marquees.
The red carpet was rolled out for VIP guests who included guest of honour Cape Town premier Helen Zille, local businessmen Dennis Kanye, Mzoli Ngcawuzele and Lungile Mbalo, the liquor executive from TOPS at Spar, Ray Edwards, tourists and kasi dwellers.
The first night of the two-day event saw nearly a thousand people braving the cold weather to be part of this event, of which City Press was a partner.
Zille received a warm welcome from patrons who jostled to take cellphone pictures of her and with her. It was a nice change not to be bullied by menacing bodyguards.
Zille raised a glass to her “personal friend”, Ngcawuzele, who co-owns the hugely popular tourist attraction and braai spot, Mzoli’s, in Gugs.
I have to admit I’ve never seen such a diverse crowd under one roof in a Cape Town township before.
It gave me hope that all is not hopeless when it comes to intergrating the people of the Mother City.
The wine tasting marquee was packed with enthusiasts and novices eager to sample the goods from brands such as Nederburg, Oak Valley, Zonnebloem, Alto and Paul Cluver.
With 26 wineries doing themselves proud with a range of fine tipples, it’s no wonder the second and last day of the festival proved to be more of a hit than the night before.
Word had obviously spread because by 7pm, with about three more hours to go, tickets had been sold out. The tally showed that over 2000 people had come out for a good time.
It felt surprisingly good to be at an event where there were no celebrity egos trying to outdo each other.