Years of magic
M-Net threw a 30th birthday bash second to none in a specially built dome at the MultiChoice headquarters in Randburg. Africa’s pioneering TV channel disappointed nobody on Thursday night when it came to big surprises and top entertainment for its more than 200 special guests.
It even pulled a rabbit out of the hat in the shape of South African comedian Trevor Noah. The host of US Comedy Central’s The Daily Show appeared in a recorded stand-up act. He was present right through the evening, as a hologram projection.
Noah sang praises to the investments M-Net had made in the local community by producing content that South Africans really want to see. He also did not fail to keep guests in stitches. The man proved that he has not lost his mojo.
The bash attracted the A-list of the country’s stars and (sighs and yawns) politicians too, in the form of Communications Minister Faith Muthambi and the former Nelson Mandela Bay mayor, Danny Jordaan.
The milestone occasion was further graced by the presence of retired national footballers Benni McCarthy and Mark Williams, not to forget inhouse sports anchor Carol Tshabalala.
Other celebrities in attendance included actress Jessica Nkosi, Idols SA 2015 runner-up Mmatema Moremi and Kaizer Chiefs midfielder Siphiwe Tshabalala, who pitched with his fiancée, Bokang.
International Afro-pop sensation and host Lira got the crowds singing along in a memorial tribute to all the people who’ve contributed to M-Net’s magic over the past 30 years.
Legendary songstress Claire Johnston from Mango Groove took the audience down memory lane with the iconic song Special Star.
And, on the culinary front, guests were treated to mouth-watering delicacies worthy of a 30th birthday party. The starters were lightly oaksmoked and lavender-infused salmon trout, and Nordic shrimp served with citrus dill crème fraîche. My main course was sous-vide beef mignon served with potatoes and vegetables. The meal was washed down with a most befitting Moët & Chandon Champagne.
Meanwhile, performances continued. Voice SA winner Richard Stirton, Khaya Mthethwa, Nigerian singer 2face Idibia and the Parlotones all delivered their level best.
M-Net is a proudly African company committed to bringing the best international and African stories to its public, we were told. And the company’s greatest asset is “the remarkable and diverse group of people who bring this enduring brand to life, in so many ways each day”, said M-Net CEO Yolisa Phahle.
Well, what would great events be without the odd memorable speech?
BIRTHDAY BASH From left: Dineo Moeketsi, Lira, Bokang Montjane and Siphiwe Tshabalala