Locals grace Durban July
The law of attraction states that like attracts like, and that rang true at the Vodacom Durban July, held over the weekend, as the well groomed horses attracted tens of thousands of beautiful people all dressed to the nines. Spotted in the massive crowd rubbing shoulders with the who’s who of South African celebville, was a bunch of Batswana who had graced the event, looking like a million bucks . Durban July is known to be a South African playground for the rich and famous. Seen in the crowd were South African soapie stars and personalities Sophie Ndaba (Queen of Generations), Winnie Modise (Khethiwe Ngcobo of Generations), Themba Nofemele (Ranthumeng of Muvhango), Motlatsi Mafatshe (Sechaba of Isidingo), Minnie Dlamini, Andile Gaelesiwe and Leleti Khumalo among others.
The fashion and horse-racing event, was a showcase of futuristic yet glamorous fashion as everyone in attendance gave photographers something to capture all day and night. Guests in attendance were treated to a combination of good music and good vibes, with featured performances by South African musicians Dr Malinga, Zakes Bantwini, Professor, Dj Oscar and many more. Speaking to Time Out, Yarona FM radio personality Dollar Mac said, “Everything is well organized and as an entertainer, it would be great to see an event such as this happening in Botswana because I think people back home are ready and willing.
It’s time we also did something this big, re tseye malebela (get a few pointers) and take it back home and incorporate our own style and culture in it.” Local musician T.H.A.B.O who was also in attendance concurred, saying “we have the creativity to pull off something similar. However, we are short of investors and sponsors, but I have been in the industry long enough to believe that we will get there someday.” Songbirds and jazz maestros, Nnunu Ramogotsi and Kearoma Rantao thrilled the South African audience with a lively acapella performance of their songs role la tsie and meropa. “The performance was a last minute thing but the crowd, despite not being able to understand our language, reacted well to our performance. So I am very happy,” shared Ramogotsi. The fact that Batswana take time out of their busy schedules to attend events of this magnitude could mean that they are looking to benchmark. As such, Durban July could be a catalyst to having similar events that promote Botswana’s tourism.
Speaking to Time Out Public Relations and Communications Manager at Botswana Tourism, Keitumetse Setlang, revealed that Batswana should expect a change when it comes to tourism events that will sell Botswana to the world. Setlang said, “it would be great to have an event of this magnitude back home and trust me when I say we are working on it. It won’t happen overnight, but I assure you that at Botswana Tourism we are already making changes to big events like the Kalahari Desert Race to enable them to attract more people to the country. I believe Batswana are ready to host the world.” Business Development Manager of TRL Travel Keba Dibe who hosted our journos in Durban said that Batswana can now look forward to arrange monthly sojourns to Durban in that there will be a direct flight charter from Durban to Gaborone every last weekend of each month.