WHAT THE RICH GIVE AS gifts
As you look forward to getting away to your favourite local spot, or spending a quiet break in an unusually lazy Johannesburg, spare a thought for some of our wealthier countryfolk who are planning more elaborate family holidays this festive season. Ntomb
BILLIONAIRE BUSINESSMAN VIVIAN REDDY AND SORISHA NAIDOO
Gone are the days when Vivian Reddy and his wife, media personality Sorisha Naidoo, used to surprise each other with expensive gifts. Now they have graduated from showering each other with bling to focusing more on essential quality time.
“We are not as flashy any more. We are not trying to outdo each other or win each other’s heart. We know each other and we are in love,” says Naidoo.
The last gift she bought her husband was a R500 000 custom-made watch from Swiss watchmaker Franck Muller.
And, two years ago, her gift wish list comprised a MacBook Air, a Chanel bag and a holiday in Mauritius – all of which she got.
But now, she says, she does not need anything for Christmas as her birthday present more than made up for it. “Vivian paid for our nanny’s knee surgery in a private hospital, under the best service, for three weeks. Unfortunately, she passed away from renal failure last year.”
This year has been one of Reddy’s busiest and the couple have carefully planned a 20-day holiday to maximise family time.
“Vivian has been busy with business and I have been filming a reality show, Divas of Jozi. It has been a traumatic year for us as the kids have suffered in terms of being deprived of our time.
“So, spending quality time with the kids will be the best thing ever,” says Naidoo.
Last year, the family spent their Christmas in Thailand, but this year they are doing what their children – aged six and eight – want to do. Their holiday will start with a six-night Disney Cruise, followed by a 12-day trip to Disney World. Christmas will be spent in Dubai, where the family is looking forward to visiting Mall of the Emirates, where the annual retail extravaganza, the Dubai Shopping Festival, is held. New Year’s Eve will be celebrated back in South Africa with family. Naidoo says her ideal vacation would be on an island “anywhere” where she doesn’t need to worry about further travelling or how she looks. “You just unpack once as you get there and you can have bad hair, bad skin and no makeup. Just sit on the beach with your kids,” she says. Reddy started the year developing construction projects worth R12 billion in Umhlanga in KwaZulu-Natal. These include his much-vaunted Oceans Hotel and a mall, which will house the country’s first indoor snow park. Both will be launched in December next year. He has also introduced a shareholding platform, enabling anyone to trade in shares. “This is the best Christmas present I can give to the people of South Africa. I am hoping employers will be encouraged to purchase some shares for their maids,” he says.
NOMA AND MALUSI GIGABA, AKA ‘THE GIGABITES’
IT specialist Noma Gigaba, wife of Home Affairs Minister Malusi, says she will surprise her man with a “great book about the global or domestic political economy” for Christmas.
“He loves reading, and buying him a book will be the best gift for him,” she adds.
Although Noma believes they deserve a holiday after their hectic year, what she wants most is quality time with her husband, who is often away for work.
She will start with makoti duties in his hometown of Mandeni in KwaZulu-Natal, after which they will move to her family in Umzimkhulu. They will continue on their journey to Durban, before heading for the Western Cape and their final destination: Knysna.
In Umzimkhulu, their two children will enjoy horse riding and, while in Durban, they will take their two children to uShaka Marine World. As for Knysna, “it is a breathtaking holiday spot,” says Noma.
“It has a beautiful coastline, it is private and has plenty of activities for kids such as swimming, enjoying nature, walking the cheetahs and so on. It is an all-in-one destination. Above all, we will be enjoying Mzansi’s finest holiday spots. What could be better?”
The Gigabas’ younger child turns four years old on Christmas Day, making it a double celebration for the family.
BUSINESSMAN TIM TEBEILA
The chief executive officer of mining and energy firm Sekoko Resources will not reveal what he is buying his wife, Pollet, as a Christmas gift. “I will keep that as a surprise. Sometimes the best things in life are unexpected surprises.” He adds that he knows Pollet loves surprises, “because she always says, ‘Surprises are great fun’.” And what would Tebeila like? “I am not expecting any gift, because Christmas means giving without the thought of getting. It is about forgetting yourself and finding time for others,” he says. The Tebeilas are going on holiday. They planned their break only at the eleventh hour because of their hectic schedules. They will be visiting a private island in Mozambique, and although it sounds glamorous, it was not their first choice. Initially, their dream destination this year was visiting Machu Picchu in Peru to experience the wonders of nature and an ancient civilisation. But they did not leave enough time to plan the getaway properly, so their daughter – “a good organiser”, says Tebeila – took the reins and made sure they would have a break. “She has arranged a fun-filled package of adventurous activities and sight-seeing. Every day has its activities – but I’m not sure this will allow me to rest,” he laughs. Even though it will be more hectic than he would like, Tebeila says the holiday will be worthwhile because spending time with family “is the most precious thing to do, especially away from home”.
ANTICIPATING QUALITY TIME Dubai and Disney World are this year’s holiday destinations for the Reddy family