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Zuma’s funder’s R10m birthday bash

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Vivian Reddy started celebrating early in anticipation of his 60th birthday party. Picture: Lauren Rawlins

Durban - No expense has been spared to mark KwaZulu-Natal businessman Vivian Reddy’s 60th birthday and the 35th anniversary of his company, Edison Power.

He is spending R10 million on two days of celebrations that are set to rival all parties in Durban on the weekend of February 23, including the Metro FM Awards, which will be hosted by the city the same weekend.

Among a number of high-profile guests who will be attending functions at uShaka are President Jacob Zuma and Thobeka Mabhija-Zuma, King Goodwill Zwelithini, premiers, several cabinet ministers and international guests.

Olympic superstars Chad le Clos and Oscar Pistorius are also expected to be making an appearance.

While the main party is on Saturday, February 23, Reddy is hosting a private party for a select few at his posh Umhlanga home on the Friday.

He promised glitz, glamour and elegance never seen in Durban.

“Everything is being co-ordinated right here,” said Reddy while putting down his Louis Vuitton laptop bag on the table.

The party theme, “Diamonds in the Rough”, refers to the untapped potential of the children of South Africa, says Reddy.

Not forgetting the less fortunate, Reddy plans to mark his milestone with disadvantaged children as well.

Celebrations will begin on February 22, which is Reddy’s actual birthday, with a private party at his Umhlanga home, where he will entertain 150 guests.

Party guests received a unique and pricey invitation, each costing R3 100.

The invitation came in the form of a personalised pure oak box.

Inside were four Italian champagne glasses and a bottle of Moët & Chandon, which retails at R1 000 a bottle. Accompanying the celebratory set is a printed invitation with an eight-page brochure depicting the life of Reddy.

Our sister paper, The Sunday Tribune, established that the special guests at the exclusive party will also include Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, Miss South Africa Marilyn Ramos, business tycoon Patrice Motsepe and his wife Precious.

Reddy is said also to have invited top international businessmen as well as former Nigerian president Olusegun Obasanjo.

A source very close to the preparations said Reddy had booked the entire Beverly Hills Hotel in Umhlanga to accommodate all of his guests, but it is not known if Reddy will be flying his guests to the party.

“He wanted to bring Tina Turner down as well, but when he received a quote of R6 million, he decided she was not worth it.

“He was prepared to pay R3m for her,” said the source.

At Reddy’s palatial home, guests will be treated to sushi bars, an Italian stall, fusion stall, grill house stall and a coffee and cigar lounge.

Masterchef South Africa winner Deena Naidoo will prepare special cuisine and co-ordinate the function; he will also create a special ice sculpture as part of the decor.

“It’s just going to be a private dinner with some of my closest friends and my family,” explained Reddy.

The private party will be followed by an even bigger extravaganza on February 23, for which Reddy has booked the entire uShaka Marine World to entertain 10 000 disadvantaged children who will be cared for by 500 child minders, which will set the businessman back R5m.

“Our children are diamonds in the rough with overwhelming potential to succeed if provided the opportunity and socially responsible business needs to create this. This will bring 10 000 smiles to 10 000 children,” said Reddy.

The kids, who come from different children’s homes and quintile one schools, which are among the poorest, will share a massive 1.2-ton birthday cake which will be baked by Durban master baker Previn Naidoo of The Baking Pan in Overport.

“The cake will receive a special police escort to the venue. It will be on a special flat bed because it will be so delicate.

“We want all the kids to get a slice of the cake,” said Reddy.

Durban event director Sim Tshabalala has been co-ordinating the entire weekend’s event with a team of 30 people for the past four months.

The 10 000 kids will also be treated to an all-day educational puppet and dolphin show, and 150 buses will be hired to transport them to the day of fun.

“They will also get a chance to interact with President Jacob Zuma, King Goodwill Zwelithini and Premier Zweli Mkhize during the day,” said Reddy.

A stylish high tea, where 1 400 will be entertained with a scenic view of the Indian Ocean at Moyo’s restaurant at uShaka, will continue celebrations, also on Saturday.

Guests will be seated in a glass marquee perched 4m above the uShaka promenade and will then be served by Moyo’s executive chef, Brett Cronje, from an African-inspired menu.

When asked why he had decided to go all-out for his birthday celebrations, Reddy laughed and said: “Maybe it is because I have more money now.

“No, on a serious note, turning 60 years and the company celebrating 35 years is a milestone. I am a businessman, I love entertaining and making people feel special, so I want to celebrate in sheer style.” - Sunday Independent


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