Sunday World - - Front Page - SIXOLISIWE NDAWO

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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