GUMEDE ’ S BIG BASH
Billionaire gets plane from his wife
Rick Ross ticks off birthday boy
THE much-hyped South African visit and performance of US rap mogul Rick Ross in Nelspruit, Mpumalanga, proved to be fraught with drama yesterday.
The Maybach Music Group founder left a sour taste in many South African mouths with his divalike antics. Not least among those was IT billionaire Robert Gumede, the man who brought him to these shores as part of his 50th birthday celebrations at the request of his sons.
Gumede – whose three-day megabash was attended by prominent businesspeople, celebrities and politicians – lost his temper.
Addressing a packed kwaNyamazana Stadium, where about 4 000 young people had gathered for the free concert courtesy of Gumede, the IT mogul took to the stage and announced: “Tell this American to come and fetch his bag, it’s here. He mustn’t piss me off.”
This was after Ross apparently threw his toys out the cot when a bag full of his jewellery went missing.
More drama ensued when Arthur Mafokate ’ s daughter Owami (11) was accused of knocking on the rapper ’ s door with friends and running away. The kwaito star and his kids were booked in a room next to Ross’s. A cross Mafokate could only say “It’s not right what he’s doing” when asked about the incident.
There was more drama when Chomee nearly caused a stampede at the free concert.
The Jaiva Sexy singer had to be rescued by security workers after she decided to surf the crowd during her warm-up performance.
The music had to be stopped while the rescue operation was under way.
Otherwise, the weekend went off without a hitch, with a highlight being Gumede’s birthday present from his wife, Portia, and their kids – a 12-seater Challenger 604 private jet with glossy mahogany finishes and cream leather seats.
Portia said: “I’m blessed to have the most wonderful and romantic husband in the world.
“We all decided to empty our piggy banks and closed all our accounts so that we could buy the plane he’s always dreamt of.”
The three-day extravaganza had guests from as far as the Czech Republic and Benin. Even Ghana’s president, John Dramani Mahama, sent a video message in which he gently reminded Gumede about his undertaking to “build a mall in my country”.
Among those who attended the gala dinner on Friday night were businessman Vivian Reddy and wife Sorisha Naidoo, defence contractor Ivor Ichikowitz, politician Mathews Phosa and wife Pinky, comedian David Kau and wife Thalia, South African National Parks chief executive David Mabunda and his family, and Noeleen MaholwanaSangqu and husband Sisa.
The event was at the Nelspruit Rugby Club, which celebrity designer and events organiser Gavin Rajah transformed into an enchanted garden. Rajah said the theme was symbolic of Gumede as a gardener.
“All the flowers used are from Nelspruit [except for some] flown in from Amsterdam and Singapore because hydrangeas and tuberoses are not in season here right now,” he said.
Before the dinner, the ladies were treated to a lunch, and presented with custom-made designer T-shirts. For entertainment, they had a mentalist bend their minds.
In the evening the estimated 1 400 guests watched a theatrical production depicting Gumede’s rise to prominence.
Starring Kenneth Nkosi as Gumede and Rapulana Seiphemo as everyone else, the show was about Gumede’s path to wealth.
Joyous Celebration co-founder Lindelani Mkize was the entertainment director for the production.
The dinner menu consisted of delicate chicken coronation tarte served with strawberries and fresh herbs; char-grilled beef fillet with a mushroom duxelle and merlot sauce, with creamy potato bake; and an Antonin Kareme-inspired theatre of dream French desert.
Gumede said the celebration also marked the 15th anniversary of his Guma Group company.
Gumede took time to thank his wife’s family. “The due diligence that I conducted in you proved that you are a family of values and that education is everything that can make life easier for your children.”
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