Cricket stars fan the festive flames
THE temperature on Saturday morning was certainly raised a notch higher, when players from the Durban Heat Cricket Team arrived at the marquee, at the Durban Diwali Festival.
Keshav Maharaj, Khaya Zondo and Okuhle Cele promoted the Mzansi Super League, South Africa’s version of the Indian Premier League, which will get under way next week.
They also met some of their fans, who snapped selfies with the trio.
Cele, 21, a fast bowler, said he jumped at the chance to join his mates at the festival, so he could learn more about Diwali, while Zondo said he enjoyed watching the sky light up with fireworks.
“I receive treats from my friends, who celebrate Diwali, so I am quite clued up on this religious day. I respect the religion and I always find myself waiting for the treats,” said Zondo.
He added: “Of course, I have to spend even longer at the gym the next day.”
Maharaj, 28, who attended the festival for the first time, said while he would not be celebrating Diwali this year, after his grandmother’s death, he looked forward to seeing his family.
“I am a big family person and Diwali is generally my favourite part of the year. I enjoy the festive vibe it gives and, here in Durban, we can see the festivities have already begun.
“This year, we will observe the festival on Wednesday with family and, while we won’t be celebrating, I have to admit that I haven’t burst a firework in 10 years because I love my dog too much. I am not against it, I enjoy watching the lights from my home, but I choose not to burst fireworks.”
ABOVE: His Majesty, King Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu lights the ceremonial lamp, with Queen Nandi alongside, to mark the start of the Diwali/ Deepavali celebrations at Osuthu royal palace on Saturday.
ABOVE: Okhule Cele with fan, Vernon Deonath, and his children Ayush, 5, and Ria, 6.LEFT: Cricketer Keshav Maharaj, with a copy of POST, at the Durban Diwali Festival.
TOP LEFT: Khaya Zondo with the media co-ordinator of Durban Heat, Nqobile Tembe.