Cape Town has come alive with several international celebrities in the city and a host of mega-parties on the go.
Following on the heels of recent visits by Vanilla Ice, Kim and Kourtney Kardashian and Justin Bieber, high-profile British X-Factor judge and pop singer Cheryl Cole is in Cape Town.
The former wife of England and Chelsea football star Ashley Cole, Cheryl and close friend, American dancer Derek Hough, have rented a R30 000-a-night villa.
Cole, 27, returns to Africa less than six months since she contracted malaria on a charity hike to Tanzania.
Before their departure from Heathrow, Hough needed reassurance that Cape Town, 1 600 kilometres south of the malaria belt, was safe from mosquitoes carrying the disease.
British tabloid The Sun quoted a source close to the couple as saying: “Cheryl’s friends were worried about her going back to Africa so soon. But Derek did his homework and found Cape Town is a malaria-free region.
“Derek wanted to make sure Cheryl had a good start to 2011 after her worst year ever. Then he just told her to pack a bag.”
Cole, who topped the charts with Fight for this Love earlier this year, will have a butler and a personal chef at the villa.
American rapper Rick Ross had a much talked about performance at the Cape Town International Convention Centre on Wednesday.
Twitter was abuzz that night and on Thursday, with tweets from fans who attended and those who missed the “one city only” performance .
The Indian cricket team, ranked No 1 in the world, is also in the city for their Test against No 2-ranked South Africa at Newlands, starting on Sunday.
Meanwhile, New Year’s Eve was anything but shabby for regular Capetonians, in fact, parties this year were bigger than ever before.
Tickets to the most exclusive parties had to be booked well in advance and sometimes via Computicket. The cost of VIP tickets was astronomical.
Cape Town’s Super Club, the Fez and Vaudeville, this year hosted what was tipped to be the biggest Cape Town-based New Year’s Eve event and production to date.
Tickets to the event were between R300 and R500, while a table booking varied between R13 000 and R18 000, depending on where it was positioned. Organisers were mum about the guest-list but said it included local and international celebs.
VIP tickets to the New Year’s Eve party at the HQ Restaurant and Bar, in Heritage Square, went for R2 500 per person and were limited to 100 guests.
Radio stations also went all out to host their own massive celebrations featuring notable DJs and celebrities.
Good Hope FM presented the Glitz and Glamour New Year’s Eve Party at Club 91 in Claremont, featuring Good Hope FM DJs Tyrone Paulsen, Grant Lesch, Kurt “The Top Dawg” and Luwayne Wonder and UK DJs Eclectronic and Digital Damage.
5FM DJ and SA’s Got Talent presenter Anele Mdoda celebrated New Year’s eve at 5FM’s New Year’s Eve Cape Town extravaganza at the Canal at the V&A Waterfront.
Idols judge and DJ Gareth Cliff was at a similar event in Plettenberg Bay.
South African music legend Johnny Clegg headlined at the New Year’s Eve Concert at Kirstenbosch.
But the most exclusive and costly party in Cape Town was the R10 million celebration held at the Fresnaye mansion of international businessman Preston Haskell.
The annual Preston Haskell New Year’s Eve party takes about six months to organise and is so popular that some uninvited guests try to gatecrash the event by scaling the high walls surrounding the property. Haskell is an international businessman with interests in real estate investment and management.
The Haskell party is organised by Sarah Cort and has had A-list celebrities such as Madonna, Sophia Loren, Celine Dion and Cheryl Cole attend the event in the past.
Access to the end-of-year bash is by invitation only and is limited to a maximum of 150 guests and the theme for this year’s event is a combination of burlesque and Cirque du Soleil.
Cape Town model and actress Natalie Becker said she would be attending the Haskell do, among other exclusive house parties.
The starlet said several international friends had rented houses in Camps Bay where they would host bashes.
Some celebrities opted to celebrate at home with family and friends.
Former SA rugby player Chester Williams said although Blouberg Beach and Big Bay are the ideal party spots, he’d be at home enjoying South African beer and wine and a braai.
Idols winner Elvis Blue said he would see in 2011 with family in George and would try out his birthday gift, a Weber grill.
Celebrations, events and festivities will continue into the new year.
Fine wine, beautiful fashion and racecourse activity will mark the 150th running of the L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate at Kenilworth Race Course on January 8. Louise Carver, Zebra and Giraffe, Locnville, Gazelle and Crazy White Boy will perform at the event.
The Up The Creek Music Festival this year has a line-up filled with South Africa’s top musical talent. Jack Parow, Boo!, aKING, Flash Republic, Karen Zoid, Elvis Blue, Taxi Violence, Dan Patlansky and Piet Botha are among the acts set to rock the scenic Breede River area from February 4-6. - Weekend Argus