FORTY(ISH) & FABULOUS
She's a fixture on the social scene - a regular at the hottest parties in Mzansi. But to celebrate turning a sassy 42, Isibaya actress Mampho Brescia opted for a sleepover with her gal pals in a swish hotel penthouse.I popped into the three-bedroom suite of the Italian-inspired Palazzo Hotel on the edge of the Montecasino complex in Fourways, Johannesburg, on Tuesday evening to toast the birthday girl.Whisked up in a private lift, I enter the suite - which spans the entire top floor of the Tsogo Sun hotel - to find Mampho and her mates, including bestie Terry Pheto, reclining on a sofa in their bathrobes as they sip on champers and snack on a decadent cheese platter.Mampho tells me having a birthday slumber party has become a bit of a tradition."We do this every year. It is a celebration of our love, and love of friendship," says the actress, whose husband, Italian-born travel agency owner Nicola Brescia, gave her a brand-new Jeep as her birthday present.Mampho beams as she tells me her daughter, Rain, wrote her a touching card to mark the occasion.But she wasn't expecting any other birthday gifts."I feel like I have everything. I want for nothing," she says.The day started with Mampho, Terry and fellow actress pals Kgomotso Christopher and Mapaseka Koetle along with freckled model Sisi Shirilele checking into the hotel.As the gals go off to get ready for dinner, I learn that they've spent the afternoon snacking on sushi and champers and being pampered with fabulous massages.I also get to catch up with Kgomotso, who many soapie lovers first got to know as Katlego on Isidingo, but who now stars on e.tv's Scandal!I ask the lithe artist, who holds a master's in theatre from Columbia University in the US, how her former colleagues are coping in light of the news that the long-running SABC 3 mining drama might be axed."As actors, this sort of thing can happen to any of us," she says, mentioning that her former cast-mates are among her closest friends.In walks Kim Eagle, who can count herself as Mampho's oldest friend - the two met in standard 5 at McAuley House convent school in Parktown."She was just a ball of energy; as exuberant and independent as she is today," says the communications specialist about Mampho.As if on cue, Mampho arrives, now dressed in a black negligee from Italian lingerie brand Intimissimi, teamed with a metallic Zara jacket in keeping with the dinner's "black with a touch of silver" dress code.As the other guests trickle back in and chat, I look over to the suite's dining room, where they are due to be served a three-course meal, featuring hot smoked salmon or roasted tomato soup starters, oxtail tortellini or pan-seared Barramundi mains and finished off with a selection of desserts.And what about birthday cake, I ask the birthday girl?"I don't eat cake; it is so unnecessary," is her response.