How 2021 zoomed in: Lerato Kganyago leads lockdown countdown
Twelve months ago, Lerato Kganyago had a jam-packed itinerary, zipping around SA to perform at five New Year’s Eve gigs.
But on Thursday night the popular DJ and TV personality spun tunes on her Pioneer CDJ2000 decks to hundreds who Zoomed in to toast goodbye to an unusual year.
“It was understandably different this year, but safety comes first,” said Kganyago, who performed against a glittering backdrop festooned with balloons that was specially built for the interactive virtual party.
Even though this is traditionally the busiest time of the year for her, Kganyago was one of the first celebs to take to social media on Monday evening to thank President Cyril Ramaphosa after he announced that the country would return to lockdown level 3 as Covid-19 infections accelerated.
Her gig diary wiped, the celeb agreed to the online gig organised by music entrepreneurs Elton Massiv and Lali Spirit as part of their “Fridays on Zoom” project, to give home-bound revellers a chance to bop around in the comfort and safety of their living rooms.
Popping the cork
Someone who usually relishes the chance to head out to party with mates to celebrate New Year’s is Hacjivah Dayimani.
However, like Kganyago, the Lions rugby player agreed that the return to level 3 was crucial.
“To be honest, I was low-key glad the restrictions happened. When Covid started, it was just numbers being read, then a few months later it became names of people I knew,” he said.
Dayimani, who spent the evening with close friends, admits they did “make a lot of noise” and, with alcohol stores shut, he had to open a bottle he received for his birthday, and which he had been planning to keep for years.
At the controls
Things were a lot less boisterous in the Bloemfontein home of world and Olympic 400m record-holder Wayde van Niekerk and his food sociologist wife Chesney.
The couple saw in the new year by lighting white candles in their living room to remember those who lost their lives to the coronavirus.
“With our families affected by Covid-19, it hit home quickly,” said Chesney, adding that the couple usually spend the last day of the year attending church, then driving from house to house to celebrate with friends and family.
Van Niekerk said that even though they were not able to attend a church service, they did mark the occasion by “sharing the Word and spending time reflecting on the year that has been”.
Things were not all serious, though: the PlayStation 5 that Chesney gave Wayde for Christmas provided the perfect distraction.
For better or wurst
For Jo-Ann Strauss, despite all the gloom and doom there was a reason to celebrate — the former Miss SA and businesswoman gave birth to her fourth child in October.
Strauss, orthopaedic surgeon husband Michael Held and their brood were unable to spend Christmas together, so they started their New Year’s Eve with a Christmas-inspired dinner blending traditional South African elements with a couple of Bavarian dishes like weisswurst in a nod to Held’s German roots.
The family also lit lots of candles and, with Held on call for one of the biggest hospitals in Cape Town, they prayed for a quiet night.
Waking up with wildlife
Enhle Mbali Maphumulo had planned to spend New Year’s Eve overseas with her two sons with former husband Black Coffee. However, taking into account her boys’ wellbeing, the award-winning actress opted for a luxury getaway closer to home.
“I wanted to keep things simple — sparkles as we won’t be using fire-crackers, some PlayStation, Roblox and calling it a New Year with a safari in the morning,” she said.
“A small celebration of life, and a reminder of how delicate life is.”
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