Celebs, citizens find creative ways to celebrate birthdays during lockdown

12 April 2020 - 00:00 By SUTHENTIRA GOVENDER
Zoleka Mandela celebrated her 40th birthday online.
Zoleka Mandela celebrated her 40th birthday online.
Image: Instagram/@zolekamandela

Had it not been for Covid-19, author Zoleka Mandela —the late Nelson Mandela's granddaughter — was all set to show off her svelte new figure in a sexy calendar shoot to mark her 40th birthday — and then let her hair down with a dungeon party. 

But those plans were also put on ice after two of her friends "suffered tragic losses".

Mandela, who has lost more than 18kg in the past few months, took to Instagram last week to share her revised plans for a Zoom birthday.

"I was going to do a very sexy calendar photo-shoot, wearing the skimpiest outfits ever, and also wanted to throw a dungeon party where we would dress like our most ratchet [uncouth] alter-egos," said Mandela, who turned 40 on Thursday.

Tobeka Madiba-Zuma — one of former president Jacob Zuma's wives — donned her most glamorous ensemble to mark her 48th birthday with her two daughters at her Durban mansion last week. Her husband was absent. 

Madiba-Zuma posted her birthday photoshoot on Instagram, posing in a silk blouse, sequined skirt and heels. The former first lady is seen celebrating with her loved ones around an elegantly decorated table complete with flowers, chocolates and a red-velvet cake.

She paid tribute to herself and her achievements, and told her social media fans that she had married "the love of my life".

University of KwaZulu-Natal law student Edric Molife wanted to make his friend Thandokuhle Jiyane's 23rd birthday special, so he invited a few friends to dress up in their "cutest outfits" and pretend, using Zoom, that they were all at a nightclub having the time of their lives.

"We took it as far as wearing sunglasses," said Molife. "We poured a bit of alcohol in our glasses and sang happy birthday to her. We pretended we were out in a club and even asked each other to go to the bar for refills and rounds of shots."

Cape Town mother Joelene Naidoo threw a virtual party for her son Mayan with 40 guests patching in via Zoom to watch him cut his home-baked cake and sing happy birthday.

Naidoo did not have a theme, but decorated her home with whatever party favours she could find.

"Each of the mums baked a cake for their kids so that they could all feel as if they were at the party. It is a strange concept but at least we could celebrate with others."

Counselling psychologist Rakhi Beekrum said the lockdown gave new meaning to personal milestones.

"While there is grief about what we are losing during this pandemic, like missed trips and parties, the lockdown has given us an opportunity to introspect on what our lives and birthdays really mean," she said.

"These may well be the most memorable birthdays you will look back on."

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