Race fans show off their threads, as Durban July proves city’s recovered from Covid

Durban on Saturday woke up to the soulful music of Teddy Pendergrass, Tamia, Brownstone, alongside the rocking sounds of House and Amapiano, while the stylishly-dressed from all walks of South Africa, thronged to this year’s Durban July – the country’s most spectacular horse-racing event.

Against a background of sunny skies – a contrast to the chilly wintry Johannesburg weather, men arrived in Greyville – venue for the prestigious event – dressed in colourful suits and shirts, with women donning their best hats and dresses.

eThekwini executive mayor Mxolisi Kaunda told guests who visited the Durban tourism marquee: “Today is a wonderful day for us here at eThekwini to showcase that indeed our economy is bouncing back – the warmest city to be.

“All flights to Durban and hotels were this weekend fully booked by people coming from all corners of South Africa, to attend and celebrate the Durban July.

“As a city that has experienced devastating floods, we are now on a recovery, because we are a resilient city.

“Despite the last July’s unrest and flooding that hit eThekwini, we remain a tourist destination of choice. We are ready to take our city forward by resuscitating tourism and the economy – becoming an investment destination.”

Enjoying the limelight from crowds, and fully in line with this year’s Durban July theme “show me the honey”, were popular rapper and television personality Proverb (real name Tebogo Thekisho), and TV and radio presenter Nomalanga Shozi.

Nomalanga Shozi and Proverb at the Durban July
DRESSED TO KILL: popular rapper Proverb (real name Tebogo Sidney Thapelo Thekisho) and TV and radio presenter Nomalanga Shozi at the Durban July. Pictures: Brian Sokutu

Shozi arrived with a specially designed, bright orange dress with a long tail, designed by Excelsior Lusso, while Proverb donned a white shirt and a light brown designer suit.

Proverb described as “a silver lining” the first post-Covid event under much relaxed restrictions.

“Like KwaZulu-Natal, the world has in general gone through a lot. From floods, job losses due to Covid-19 and the current war in Ukraine, we have experienced so much hardship.

“As a human race, we are going through a lot. We have now taken an opportunity presented to us by the Durban July to find a silver lining – to try and find some positive, some reason not only to stimulate the economy, but to come together as a people – united as a nation and as a country. This Durban July demonstrates the symbolic resilience of human kind.”

Shozi remarked on the event: “Today marks the arrival of a beacon of hope for all of us, because in the last three years, we  were locked down because of Covid.

“It is also a beacon of hope for the entertainment industry, which has seen artists suffering tremendously.”

On her dress, she said: “The theme is about ‘showing me the honey’.

“When I think of honey, I think about the sweetness, finer things in life and the beauty – symbolised by a bright orange flower.”


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