‘Mr Sushi’ takes it to next level … vodka!
Fireworks, celebs for huge New Year’s party
NOTORIOUS for eating sushi off half-naked women, blowing millions on lavish parties and starring in his own reality TV show, Kenny Kunene wants to take it to the next level in 2012 – by launching his very own vodka brand.
But before he does that, he’s got to get through his massive New Year’s Eve party tonight.
The 41-year-old intends to party up a storm at his ZAR nightclub in Sandton with a host of celebrities.
Kunene would not reveal which celebrities would be joining him, however.
“There will be plenty of them, but they wouldn’t appreciate me telling the media where they are.
“We’re going to have a variety of entertainment and only the best, as always,” Kunene said. “Last year we threw a massive party, probably one of the best in Joburg. Going into 2012 we will have an even better party.”
Besides the all-night entertainment and imported booze flowing like water, Kunene is also hosting a fireworks display outside the club – and everyone’s invited.
“All you have to do is book a table and pay an entrance fee,” he said.
What he’s most excited about, though, is his plan to launch his own vodka brand next year.
Kunene and his business partner and former cellmate Gayton Mckenzie met two of the Ukraine’s biggest vodka distributors last month in their search for the right vodka to import as their own.
“Everyone knows that the world’s best vodka is made in the Ukraine and Russia, and we only want the very best for our brand,” he said. “We tried several different vodkas and were impressed with what the companies proposed.”
Kunene will also be importing an existing Russian brand of vodka.
He said he and Mckenzie had been planning this for “more than a year now”.
“We have always wanted to have our very own alcohol brand. We are in the nightclub business and we are always looking to maximise our potential, and this is a great idea.”
Kunene would not reveal which Ukrainian vodka distributors he had approached.
“The two companies that we have gone and visited sell vodka to most of the world. All the top countries are supplied by them.”
And, although it will be a costly venture, Kunene promised that his vodka brand would be reasonably priced.
“It will be around the same price as vodkas such as Smirnoff, and so on. It won’t be ridiculously priced so that no one will be able to afford it,” Kunene said.
“I think the bulk of our money will go into marketing the vodka.”
Kunene said he and Mcken- zie had opted for vodka because “it was the healthier option compared with other spirits”.
“Also, it is the in-drink right now and is most popular among those who drink and go to nightclubs.”
SA, he added, also lacked a quality Ukrainian vodka. “None of the high-end vodkas in South Africa comes from the Ukraine or Russia,” Kunene said. “All the Russian vodkas we have in South Africa are the really cheap vodkas, so we thought it would be a good idea to bring in a top- quality vodka.”
Kunene also won’t reveal what the brand will be called.
“We have a few ideas, but we are keeping it a secret for now,” he said.
“It definitely won’t be called ZAR, as we will want all clubs to sell our vodka.” And after vodka? Clothing and perfume are next on the social entrepreneur’s list.
CHAMPAGNE… TASTE: Kenny Kunene gets up close and personal.