Everything has a price -- also style
● 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.
Nerina Labuschagne, Colin Coleman and Sharon Fihrer.