Ev­ery­thing has a price -- also style

Sunday Times - - News The A-listers -

● When art en­thu­si­asts con­gre­gate, the only way to sip a drink is with your pinky finger out. This is a lit­tle dif­fi­cult when hold­ing a gin gob­let or a cham­pagne flute, but Joburg so­cialites are well versed at im­pro­vis­ing.

This week’s soiree, com­plete with small talk on the new fi­nance min­ster and pri­vate school pol­i­tics, was in Hyde Park, which some con­sider the epi­cen­tre of white priv­i­lege and in­fi­delity.

In­te­rior de­sign firm Head In­te­ri­ors ex­hib­ited artist Greatjoy Ndlovu’s work in its show­room on Wed­nes­day. Co­founder Michael Har­ri­son, whose eyes lit up when ac­tress Nomzamo Mbatha sashayed over to greet him, ex­plained that peo­ple of­ten needed to see what an art­work would look like in their homes.

For­mer Miss SA Yolanda Klop­pers (1978) had her world peace speech well re­hearsed. And her beauty queen pose hasn’t lost its touch in 30 years.

So­cialite Peta Eg­gierth-Symes had tears in her eyes. It may have been the art or see­ing the ever-debonair Judi Nwokedi. Wear­ing an orange lace dress with an orange print head wrap, or “doek” as she put it, Eg­gierth-Symes gets the cul­tural ap­pro­pri­a­tion stamp of ap­proval for sim­ply know­ing how to rock a doek. She def­i­nitely har­nessed the power of her in­ner white-girl magic and white-lady swag. The ul­ti­mate swaggy move is hav­ing one’s beau snap your shots for so­cial me­dia. Check.

While Mr Eg­gierth-Symes was on pho­tog­ra­pher duty, an­other part­ner, banker Colin Cole­man, was un­pack­ing the in­tri­ca­cies of pri­vate school pol­i­tics.

An­other poser, who even joked about com­ing straight from the TV pre­sen­ter fac­tory shop, was the re­cent ad­di­tion to the Top Billing fam­ily, Fezile Mkhize. The med­i­cal doc­tor had just come from the hospi­tal af­ter per­form­ing a

“rou­tine” ap­pen­dec­tomy. The doc­tor­p­re­sen­ter in all his chis­elled glory walked around like a gazelle on the sa­vanna. This could be why he left al­most as soon as he wrapped up his in­sert, un­less Mkhize isn’t much of an art en­thu­si­ast.

Be­ing the phi­lan­thropist that she is, Mbatha ar­rived to make sure

Mkhize wasn’t the only “piece of work” guests could gawk at.

So, what does a R450,000 art piece look like above a R53,000 white couch?

To me, cap­ti­vat­ing, with the re­al­i­sa­tion that sev­eral of my or­gans would have to be cap­tured for me to af­ford what my eyes were be­hold­ing. Ac­cord­ing to Har­ri­son, “you can never put a price on style”. Ap­par­ently you can, R18,000 or R23,000 for a chair, scat­ter cush­ions not in­cluded.

The evening’s pièce de ré­sis­tance was the dessert ta­ble filled with deca­dence that had guests for­get­ting their fin­ish­ing-school eti­quette of not more than three items on a side plate.

It was then that Nwokedi, COO of Tour­vest, paved the way for soc­cer moms and BEE dads to ask for skhaf­tini, or take­aways. Like Moses led the Is­raelites to the promised land, so did Nwokedi lead the peo­ple when she unashamedly put a mini ap­ple and cus­tard cake in her gift bag of potpourri. LW

Greatjoy Ndlovu and Michael Har­ri­son

Peta and Peter Eg­gierth-Symes

Karen Ahrends, Cherie Cusens and Nonku­l­uleko Wil­liams.

Pic­tures: John Lieben­berg

Ne­rina Labuschagne, Colin Cole­man and Sharon Fihrer.

Yolanda Klop­pers

Fezile Mkhize

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