Durban - DURBAN moved into top party gear last night as the country's A-listers jetted into the city for this year's Vodacom Durban July.
Captains of industry, top politicians, fashionistas, television and music stars and some shock queens will rub shoulders at today's elite event which is synonymous with caviar and champagne among the mink-and-manure set.
And you'd be forgiven for thinking you were experiencing déjà vu as celeb-spotting reaches new levels with multiple outfit changes being the new norm for the biggest social party of the year.
Just when we thought three outfit changes were a must for the kings and queens of glam, Durban Gqom queen Babes Wodumo told The Independent on Saturday she had 10 outfits lined up for Saturday.
She will be sporting some of the outfits for her music video which she is shooting at various hot clubs in Durban today for her single Ka Dazz.
“One of the dresses I'll be wearing at the VDJ has lots of bling and a slit – it's made by TK who has also dressed the likes of Khanyi Mbau. I've been working with this designer for a while now,” she said.
Babes Wodumo is expected to perform at the Amstel Boomtown, as well as the Durban July Eyadini Experience marquees amongst others.
“Everyone knows that my performances are always lit, even our costumes are on point as well as the discipline on stage. I make sure to change dance styles and form, and that’s why people love me. They must expect fire and a hot performance today,” said Babes.
She said her fans always showed her love and got excited when they watched her on stage and this fuelled her stage alter ego.
“I transform and become another person. I always look forward to their (fans') reaction – God put me here in this position for a reason. I love performing: it’s always fun for me and I enjoy being on stage.”
Fans of Durban songstress Shekinah are in for a treat at the Amstel Boomtown Marquee as she gears up for her first full live performance.
“It will be my first time in a full live performance with a band. It's challenging and scary, but it’s a big deal for me,” she said.
The singer said that while she was excited about performing at the VDJ, she won’t be staying long as she has another show in Pretoria tonight.
Without going into much detail about the setting of her live performance, Shekinah was also very excited to be performing on home soil for the first time after her big South African Music Awards victory for her debut studio album, Rose Gold.
She bagged three awards – best newcomer, album of the year and best female artist.
“Winning the awards, to me, feels like a great achievement. It feels like I studied for an exam and got all the answers right. I worked hard to get here. When I write, I look at how people are talking, the phrases that they are using, (and) include these in my songs so that I connect with people.
"I’m working on so much right now and I feel there's still so much for me to do and achieve with my career.”
Olympic gold medal winner and Durbanite Chad le Clos will also be donning something more than his swimming trunks.
“I just had to be here for the Durban July, but I can’t say which suite I'll be in as I'll be a surprise guest,” said Le Clos, who jetted into Durban on Thursday night.
He will be wearing a suit tailor-made by local designer Frank Bespoke.
“It definitely includes the theme of this year’s race, “It is time”, but I’ve not seen the final product yet so I can’t tell you anything,” he said.
Other celebs who are tipped to be at the course include Minnie Dlamini, Bonang Matheba and Nomzamo Mbatha, as well as Black Entertainment Television (BET) winner Sjava.
There is also a big line-up of artists including AKA, Cassper Nyovest, Distruction Boyz, Tresor, Lady Zamar, DJs Shimza and Maphorisa as well as DJ Tira. The music area will be anchored by popular MC ProVerb, to name just a few.
Some top Nigerian and Ghanaian celebs, such as actor OC Ukeje and Eku Edewor, Africa Magic, Studio 53 Presenter from Nigeria, are also expected to be checking out the Durban July vibe.
THE INDEPENDENT ON SATURDAY