KIARA Maharaj and Shivash Mahaveer arrive in a horse-drawn carriage for the Westville Girls’ High School Matric Ball last weekend at
the Durban ICC. | Picture: ROY ESTERHUYSEN
KIARA Maharaj and Shivash Mahaveer arrive in a horse-drawn carriage for the Westville Girls’ High School Matric Ball last weekend at the Durban ICC. | Picture: ROY ESTERHUYSEN

Westville Girls pupil makes stunning matric dance appearance

By Tanya Waterworth Time of article published Mar 23, 2019

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Durban - A horse-drawn carriage, a red carpet and a bow from her beau. That was the dream arrival for Kiara Maharaj, 17, at the Durban ICC last weekend, as 2019 matric dance season kicked off.

Speaking to the Independent on Saturday this week, Kiara said she loosely followed a Beauty and the Beast theme, arriving in a black and gold carriage fit for a princess with her partner for the evening Shivash Mahaveer.

Dressed in a beautiful jet black, off the shoulder gown, Kiara said the evening was one to remember.

“I felt absolutely amazing, the evening was stunning, it was such a perfect event. When we arrived, the cars were revving and the horse got a little scared when we were going up the ramp, but then he steadied.

“As soon as we exited the carriage, Shivash bowed and I curtsied. I made him aware he was the beast from Beauty and the Beast and he thought that was very cute,” she said.

Kiara’s father Nishaan arranged for the horse-drawn carriage, saying his daughter’s arrival held a very “rainbow nation moment”.

As the couple was going up the ramp and the horse became nervous, the carriage became stuck for a few moments.

“I’ve never seen people come together like that and everyone helped give the carriage a push to get up the ramp, it was such a rainbow moment."

Owner of the horse-drawn carriage, Gary Coetzee from eManzimtoti, said while his horses have been used for weddings and special occasions for many years, he had saved up for the carriage and bought it two years ago.

“I trained Mercury to become ‘bombproof’, which means he’s not easily startled. Now, he’s used to being in traffic and around people while pulling the carriage. Horses are not naturally used to that - a bit like people who are not used to speaking in public and freeze up. While Mercury has a placid nature, it still required a lot of training,” said Coetzee.

He said he spends a large part of the day preparing the carriage ahead of an event, which is hung with lanterns and fairy lights. Mercury and the carriage are then transported to the event.

“For the matric ball, we took Kiara and her partner around two blocks and Mercury had his proud moments as well,” he said, adding he has two other horses in training to draw the carriage, but that it will still take a few months before they become “bombproof”.

Following her special night, Kiara has had to return to her studies.

“Ahead of matric this was the last thing I had to look forward to and I’ve already started buckling down. My favourite subjects are maths and accounting and I’d like to study business science,” she said.

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