Noma Gigaba’s dress ‘show­cas­ing fem­i­n­ity and power’ and de­signed by Gert-Johan Coet­zee made her one of the best dressed at the event

CityPress - - Front Page - NTOMBIZODWA MAKHOBA ntombizodwa@city­

Noma Gigaba, wife and “best friend” of Home Af­fairs Min­is­ter Malusi Gigaba, drew gasps on the red car­pet be­fore the open­ing of Par­lia­ment this week with a nude and white cus­tom-made dress de­signed by Gert-Johan Coet­zee. She was one of the best dressed women at the event, but the red car­pet princess wouldn’t say so her­self. “I just wanted to look an­gelic. The in­spi­ra­tion be­hind my dress was trans­par­ent glam­our show­ing my sexy, sen­sual side, but in a very re­spectable way. It’s about show­cas­ing fem­i­n­ity and power,” she told City Press on Fri­day.

When asked what in­spired her look, she said she watched in­ter­na­tional fashion TV chan­nels and they al­ways helped her put to­gether an out­fit. Coet­zee hints that dress­ing a min­is­ter’s wife can be a tricky ex­er­cise. Noma opted for a “trans­par­ent glam­orous look, show­ing off the il­lu­sion of skin through the fab­ric”, Coet­zee said. “But we still wanted her to look re­spect­ful as a min­is­ter’s wife.”

Al­though it may look like Gigaba was flash­ing lots of flesh, the dress was in fact lined with fab­ric that was the ex­act tone of her skin.

Dur­ing past state of the na­tion red car­pet walks, Gigaba has rocked plenty of colour. Last year, she used metallics – a bronze and gold gown with a long train.

“This year, I told my­self I didn’t want any colour. I just wanted to keep it sim­ple, but still look classy and el­e­gant. I just opted for a clean look and I didn’t know it would come out so nicely,” she grinned. She and Coet­zee have been work­ing on her out­fit since last year. “Noma is a pro. It’s a plea­sure work­ing with her and it shows in the fi­nal prod­uct,” Coet­zee said.

She is sim­i­larly gushy about him: “Gert is very pro­fes­sional and he re­spects his work. It doesn’t mat­ter who you are, he treats all his clients the same.”

Gigaba said she al­ways made a big ef­fort to look good no mat­ter where she was go­ing – whether to Par­lia­ment or a wed­ding.

“I don’t want to wear some­thing that is trend­ing; I al­ways want to look dif­fer­ent and unique,” she said.

So, did she help dress her hus­band, one of the best dressed men in at­ten­dance in his tai­lored navy suit by Dur­ban-based bou­tique Im­age Collezion?

“I ad­vised him to wear some­thing black or navy. I told him not to wear brown be­cause it was go­ing to look too sim­i­lar to my out­fit,” she said. She only saw what he was go­ing to wear for the first time on Thurs­day. Al­though her mar­riage has been through tri­als and tribu­la­tions, she said she and Malusi were do­ing well.

“My mar­riage is still fine and life is good. But Malusi is busy of late; he’s study­ing and work has been keep­ing him busy. We sup­port each other be­cause we are both work­ing and study­ing,” she said. “When we both have time, we chill. Malusi is skhokho sam’ [He’s my best friend].”

She has a lot on her plate – she’s a busi­ness owner, a post­grad­u­ate stu­dent at Hen­ley Busi­ness School and a mother of two. But, de­spite the busy sched­ule, she still takes some time out for her­self. “The only thing I have is time for me. I have time to shop, do my hair and nails no mat­ter how busy I am. I don’t want to for­get my­self; I don’t want my­self to come last,” she said.

She also tries to make time to do com­mu­nity work, es­pe­cially work that ben­e­fits women.

To­mor­row, she will join eThek­wini mayor Zandile Gumede to hand out san­i­tary tow­els to school­girls. An­other project close to her heart is build­ing shaded ar­eas where chil­dren can find shel­ter from the heat at schools. The Noma Gigaba Foun­da­tion is also com­pil­ing and pub­lish­ing study guides for pupils who can­not af­ford to buy text­books.

“I just love chang­ing peo­ple’s lives,” she said.


STUN­NING Home Af­fairs Min­is­ter Malusi Gigaba and his wife Noma looked fan­tas­tic ahead of the state of the na­tion ad­dress on Thurs­day

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