More than 250 VIP guests attended the launch of the Africa edition of the premier business magazine Forbes on Wednesday evening in Montecasino’s ballroom
The mag arrived thanks to the same men who brought CNBC to the South Africa, Zafar Sadiqi and Rakesh Wahi of Africa Business News , and Chris Bishop was roped in as editor.
I was curious to learn how one cracks a spot on the cover of the magazine, and Bishop quipped: “Influence. Topicality. Character. Do I need to mention wealth?”
The magazine became available in South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya from the end of last week.
Bumped into Brand South Africa’s Miller Matola chatting to the IDC’s executive director of marketing and corporate affairs, Neo Mokhesi, but Matola would not pose for a picture without his chairman, Anitha Sony.
I suppose the man knows where his bread is buttered.
Sonia Booth arrived with her BFF. I asked her why she had not come with her hubby, Matthew, and she reminded me that he was now based in Cape Town, playing for Ajax. I asked her if she now sold shoes, but the local wag quickly set the record straight: “I manufacture shoes, darling. I have a factory in Kya Sands.”
She was wearing a lovely black, pointy, patent-leather pair of stilettos from her range.
I begged Idols judge Mr Nasty, Randall Abrahams, for a heads-up on his favourite of the remaining two contestants. All I got was a blank stare . Not even a smile. Now I know how those youngsters feel singing in front of him. He looked good, though, in his Hollywood-style tux.
If the hat fits
This brings me to the bone I want to pick with my fellow citizens of Mzansi. If you don’t know what “black tie” means, please Google it!
Comedian David Kau should try to work with us on this one. Enough of the trademark hat already, or else find one that fits the occasion.
One who did get it right was Jacinda Louw-Schutte. Remember her as runner-up in South Africa’s 2006 Survivor series? She looked stunning in a long, flowy brown dress matched with a pair of silver spiky Christian Louboutins which her hubby, Altec group manager Hansie Schutte, joked he was still paying for.
The cover man of the launch edition of Forbes Africa is none other than local billionaire Patrice Motsepe, who arrived fashionably late with his beautiful wife, Precious, who was sporting an exquisite gold-stone neckpiece.
The waitress who was appointed to serve the Motsepes spilt sparkling water on the couple. She apologised a billion times – well, nearly – but the two laughed it off.
The MCs were graceful Metro FM presenter Azania Ndoro and musician Ed Jordan. Ndoro looked fabulous in a long, blue gown accessorised with silver. She should have arrived with the editor of Forbes, because his tie matched her stunning dress.
Ndoro bit her tongue several times in introducing arts and culture Director-General Sibusiso Xaba, who was there to welcome the magazine to South Africa on behalf of his boss, Paul Mashatile.
Sid Wahi, son of the co-founder, was the most interesting speaker of the night; quirky and funny. Maybe his good looks also helped.
Loyiso Bala got the crowd onto the black-and-white-tiled dance floor with his cover version of Miriam Makeba’s Pata Pata , just what the doctor ordered.
Food: 8/10 – The delicious cocktail menu included fresh sushi, prepared on site by chef Kelvin Ndlovu, lamb kebabs with a cumin yoghurt dip, Thai green curry, mini harissa fillets mignon with a mustard dip, prawns on sticks, risotto balls with parmesan and wild mushrooms in a tomato fondue, and strawberry cheesecake.
Decor: 8/10 – Understated elegance with white and black pianos, and white round, rectangular and square cocktail tables with silver and black scatter cushions on a few couches.
Venue: 4/10 – I am not a fan of Montecasino as a venue for a formal event. The parking is far away and walking on the cobblestone paving in heels is no joke.
Vibe: 6/10 – Jordan’s performance didn’t do it for me, but the casual seating was enjoyable. The idea that you could be sitting with a billionaire was thrilling. I am sure all the tenderpreneurs had a ball canvassing for tenders. Guests danced the night away until the organisers started packing away the furniture while trying to chase away some drunks who did not want to leave.