Mthatha gets new lux ho­tel

CityPress - - News - LUBABALO NGCUKANA lubabalo.ngcukana@city­press.co.za

Prop­erty mogul Sisa Nge­bu­lana’s R130 mil­lion three-star May­fair Ho­tel in Mthatha prom­ises to change the city’s nightlife for­ever, and it all started with a launch party on Wed­nes­day, where guests danced the night away.

By the end of the evening, the only peo­ple more tired than the rev­ellers were the bar staff, who fu­ri­ously served free drinks to the un­quench­able masses all night. Let’s just say that some drank a lit­tle too deeply from the nec­tar of the gods.

The night started with Nge­bu­lana, the chief ex­ec­u­tive and founder of the Bil­lion Group, telling his well-heeled guests why he built the ho­tel: “When I was grow­ing up here as a young boy, there was never much that hap­pened. The ho­tels here are still the same ho­tels that were around 30 years ago when I left. So I needed to cre­ate some­thing that I call af­ford­able lux­ury.”

He named the ho­tel in part af­ter the Lon­don sub­urb of the same name where he lived for a time.

“We said we are open­ing the ho­tel in May, it is May­fair,” he added.

Sisa Nt­shona, the chief ex­ec­u­tive of SA Tourism, said that his child­hood friend Nge­bu­lana epit­o­mised black ex­cel­lence.

VIPs in­cluded Eastern Cape Premier Phu­mulo Ma­su­alle, OR Tambo district mayor No­makhosazana Meth, West­ern Pon­doland King Ndamase Ndamase and Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma’s son-in-law Lon­wabo Sam­budla.

Af­ter the for­mal­i­ties, abaThembu queen No­col­lege Ma­jiki helped Nge­bu­lana to cut the rib­bon, which sig­nalled the open­ing of the ho­tel. This was fol­lowed by a lengthy fire­works dis­play, which was an im­pres­sive way to an­nounce the lat­est ad­di­tion to the prop­erty de­vel­op­ment busi­ness in Mthatha.

Award-win­ning Eastern Cape-based singer­song­writer Nathi Mankayi mes­merised the au­di­ence later in the evening.

PHOTOS: LUBABALO NGCUKANA

BLACK EX­CEL­LENCE Bil­lion Group chief ex­ec­u­tive Sisa Nge­bu­lana at the open­ing of the ho­tel

SOUL SES­SION Nathi Mankayi pro­vided the en­ter­tain­ment and Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma’s for­mer son-in-law, Lon­wabo Sam­budla, was in the house

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