‘Mr Sushi’ takes it to next level … vodka!

Fire­works, celebs for huge New Year’s party

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NEWS - SAMEER NAIK

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.

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