Here's what our local celebs were up to at the Durban July
But can you blame me for feeling just a little bit grey at Greyville?
This year's theme might be "The Colour of Magic" but the only colour on my mind was grey as I made my way to Greyville Racecourse yesterday morning for the 121st edition of the Vodacom Durban July.
When South Africa's biggest star chooses to give it a miss (opting instead to fly in for an after-party the following day), the embattled SABC cuts the cord of its usual celeb-filled marquee, and film producer Anant Singh and his wife Vanashree no longer hold court in the Sea Cottage Room, you can't blame me for wondering what happened to July Fever.
These days, it seems it's more about what happens before and after race day, like TV personality Bonang Matheba's Ultimate Courvoisier Yacht Experience, which the newly-turned-30 star is hosting today along with radio mogul T-Bo Touch and designer David Tlale. It has been billed as "the ultimate Vodacom Durban July after-party".There was also the Mabala Noise launch concert on Friday night, which roped in US falsetto crooner Robin Thicke and Moroccan-American hip-hop artist French Montana to draw the Durban crowds.
But back to the VDJ, and this year the organisers were claiming an African first with three double-decker marquees, one by Durban bigwig Vivian Reddy who, with his beautiful wife Sorisha, hosted 600 of his BFFs and must have been smarting about the timing of the ANC national policy conference at Nasrec, which kept his politically inclined friends thin on the ground.
First up I met one of South Africa's new It girls, Ayanda Thabethe, who has replaced Bonang on SABC3's Top Billing.
Wearing a striking grey and silver crystal-encrusted gown by Biji La Maison, Ayanda told me she has just landed another endorsement, for an international hair brand.Killer heels
Miss South Africa Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters looked regal in an Anel Botha lace playsuit with a tulle train while Minnie Dlamini, resplendent in a white gown, arrived sans her TV producer fiancé Quinton Jones, who was at home as "you know he doesn't like these sorts of things".
Also spotted was Hollywood actor Michael K Williams, who is in the country shooting a feature film with international actors Alessandro Nivola and Michiel Huisman.
I spotted Jessica Nkosi at the Gagasi FM marquee snacking on a packet of Big Corn Bites while looking dreamy.