The Vodacom Durban July is about the glitz, glam, fashion, marquees, parties and exclusivity as much as it is about the horses – or maybe more about everything else than the horses.
Every year about 55 000 people pack Greyville Racecourse in Durban for one of the biggest social and sports events of the year.
I started my day inside the R41 000 price tag Afrotainment Marquee which had non-stop entertainment from 10 in the morning well into the evening. Host and owner of Afrotainment, DJ Tira, along with NaaqMusic, Cassper Nyovest and Babes Wodumo kept race-goers entertained in the black curtained drape glass marquee.
The decor was quite the site with sparkly chandeliers dangling from the ceiling and bordering the glass tables where guests could enjoy the wholesome buffet food.
Once Tira took to the mic and welcomed reality show Uthando Nes'thembu's Musa Mseleku and his wives, the amount of traffic around where I was seated was never-ending as fans of the Mzansi Magic show swarmed to take photographs with the family.
As everyone started dripping out of the marquee to party at Fact Durban Rocks with Afrotainment – I headed over to Fairmont Lodge in Zimbali for what I was told was the first of what's to be an annual after party for Mzansi's a-listers and politicians.
The Black and Gold after party hosted by Ambience Entertainment is aimed at the "grown and sophisticated" race-goers who would like to dine with the option of dancing and entertainment.
Hosted by Unathi Msengana, tables were covered with black and gold sequence tablecloths and bouquets and chandeliers hanging from the ceiling.
Host and owner of Ambience Entertainment, Marcus Moloeli, said that every detail was a reflection of the type of guest they wanted to attract although everything wasn't quite done to the detail he would've liked it to.
"We do consulting work and high-end events like this. We really wanted to move people from your mass activities at certain places and just give them a different experience."
When asked why Zimbali which is nearly 40 kilometres away from the racecourse, he said: "I live here so I thought let me host people in my home."
"We want this to be an annual event and grow it to a premium brand in terms of inviting your who's who in our country."
The very warm host is a bit of an enigma though. I searched his name high and low on the internet with no successful result that will help you get to know the man better at all.
He said on the evening that within their company they offer high-end entertainment and "we mobilise over 30 000 to 50 000 people in December for what we call 'small dorpie entertainment' – in that space we see ourselves as government of entertainment in terms of bringing service delivery to our people in rural towns."
While Moloeli is a fascinating character and gracious host, let's see whether Ambience Entertainment will join the list of sought after experiences during the Durban July Weekend.
• Packages for the Ambience Durban July experience will set you back between R45 000 – R65 000
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