Saturday, June 5, 2010

South Africa's 'A list'

I always carry my trusty little black book around with me to record the names of those who are making their mark in my world. As you know I am a self-avowed enemy of the ""oxygen thief", so the A-LIST that I have come up with does not contain any residue of the OT. Be warned ...

The celebrity world is a ruthless one and those who are "in" today may be "out" tomorrow. Some survive to become icons of their time but many a celeb bites the dust after their 15 minutes of fame. Here is who's currently who in the South African zoo, honorary South Africans for the months of June and July included (I realise that everyone is going to copy me now and do their own A-Lists, no doubt):



Obviously socceris the flavour of the month so anything related to the beautiful game is high up in the alphabet.

Aaron Mokoena, Bafana Bafana captain, and all his team (South Africa has got firmly behind its teamand is united in its support).

Goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune, the star of the show of the SA-Mexico match. Why did they have to red card him??

Siphiwe Tshabalala, who scored the sole goal against Mexico.

Defender Matthew Booth (nicknamed "Booooooo" by his adoring fans. No, they are not booing, it's an acknowledgement of his undoubted skills). Carlos was mad to leave him on the bench for the only three matches we did play.

Danny Jordaan (looking much tireder after the weight of the past four years).

Carlos Alberto Parreira (although he has been grossly overpaid as the Bafana Bafana coach. The next coach will get about a third of what he earned)

Daiiiii-vid Beckham (sorry about the injured tendon, but he's is still hot at his age. Has anyone spotted him around town?). Even though the English team did not do as well as the Brit press have predicted in their first two games, Wayne Rooney and feared striker Michael Owen are still their top players.

Portugal's great hope, Ronaldo

2018 World Cup bid ambassador Paul Elliot. Got a great GQ look.

Lucas Radebe (the perennial soccer hotty).

Blue Bulls captain Victor Matfield. Victor and his boys rock! Thanks for beating France, your win was appreciated!

Our very own Proteas for coming back from the brink (South Africa is so bipolar that we love em when they are winning and threaten to change the captain when we lose).

"Blade Runner" Oscar Pistorius (the girls love him).

Caster Semenye (keep running).

Human polar bear, swimmer, environmental campaigner and amazing speaker Lewis Pugh, whose epic swim at Mount Everest went out on Carte Blanche. He is married to a South African girl and is now based in Cape Town.


Seth Blatter (for obvious reasons, as all the stories about Fifa are going to come out after the World Cup. City Press already ran a brilliant expose of how much money Fifa is making off of South Africa, none of which will find its way into the local coffers or help the poor in this country. Fifa were described by a senior government official as as "mafioso". And the local press have been kicked to the kerb by Fifa's "embedded journalists", all 2000 of them, who are getting preferential treatment. Despite applying for accreditation at the end of last year many South African journalists will not get to see any of the matches and will be forced to use Fifa's pictures and stories). Andrew Jennings is one journo you will never see at an opening Fifa match thanks to his brilliant book Foul.

Jerome Valcke..

The French coach.

Benni McCarthy (shame on him that he didn't have the self-discipline to want to get into shape and play for his country. We NEEDED him)

Rowan Fernandez, such a naughty boy. To think that Patrice Motsepe, another business A-lister, was after him for years for Sundowns.

Jose Wotisname, the coach before Carlos or between Carlos (I cant keep up). Oh yes, my favourite band, Santana.

Irvin Khoza (lock up your daughters, man, for God's sake)

Leonard Chuene (plain ole shame on him for lying and bringing our country into disrepute over the Caster Semenye story)

Ryk Neethling (past his sell-by-date, except in Potch)

Bad boy of rugby, Joost van der Westhuizen


Princess Diana's niece, Lady Kitty Spencer, still dating footballer Larry Cohen.

Sonia Booth, fabulous model and mother of two cute dimpled baby hotties!


Victoria Beckham, whose hold over the WAG throne is undisputed. We hope she will come out to SA if England go through.

Colleen Rooney.

Fabio Capello makes my COACH A-LIST .

POLITICAL A-LIST (always a thorny one and tends to start heated Facebook debates, all over South Africa where everyone has a good vent).


Madiba (he is the reason why we got the World Cup in the first place and we pray for his good health. Check out the Madiba banners all along the Nelson Mandela bridge)

Helen Zille for telling the truth about the "toilet wars" in Cape Town. And for having the biggest balls this side of the southern hemisphere.

Mosiuoa Terror Lekota,


Julius Malema (this stupid little dude can stand on his head and wave his naked butt around for the next week and no one will take any notice, thank heavens. The soccer is much more newsworthy. Anyway he is off to The Hague for singing That Song)

The Tripartite alliance (guys, plse stop squabbling like Tweedledum and Tweedledee about your nice new rattle. It's embarrassing. I cant keep up with who is sueing who or who doesn't want to speak to whoever, and as for all the death threats ...).

Eugene Terreblanche and his murderers.


Tselane Tambo (honorary vote because the airport is named after her father)

Winnie (good for her not liking the movie about her. Damn Americans!). Winnie's kids, grands kids and great grand kids. Our hearts go out to the family for the tragic loss of great grand daughter Zenani, the namesake of her aunt Princess Zenani Dlamini, who captured the hearts of then nation last year when she handed over the Confederations Cup.

That perennial and venerable strugglista Archbishop Desmond Tutu.


Madiba's grandson, Mandla who wanted to sell the rights to his grandfather's funeral. Ouch.



Thula Sindi (making some lovely stuff, cant
wait for his collection at Africa Fashion Week. Has a great shop in Parkhurst)

Dr Precious Moloi-Motsepe (given up her practice for fashion)

Malcolm Kluk (must stop stirring, though).

Francois Rall (one of South Africa's undiscovered secrets.

New York milliner extraordinaire Albertus Swanepoel, whose relationship with Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez in 2005 saw his famous turbans. the next day he was bombarded with emails Barney's and Neiman Marcus, and the rest is history.

Cape designer Stefania Morland


David Tlale (hasn't done anything good for years. There was a time when he was young and hungry and creative but not any more)

Gavin Rajah (except in Cape Town where he seems to get away with it)

All the pretentious fashion crowd who only promote each other. All the fake celebrities and all those vicious queens...



The saga of President Zuma's second wife Nompumelelo Ntuli, the prettiest and naughtiest looking of all his wives. Did she really have it off with her bodyguard? Bad girl! And what is he ging to do to her when they get back from their official trip to India? Do naughty wives get stoned like in some parts of the Middle East?

Scandal and Rhythm City (doing terribly well in the ratings I hear)


Isidingo (so boring and politically correct these days. How I long for the days of Barker Heyns and Cherel de Villiers when men were men, there were women like Cherel and the baddies were real bad. I have been told by my fellow scribe that Michelle Botes is returning to the series, so she will be IN)

All the other soapies. They are boring, kitchen sink, badly acted crap.



Well, of course the Blk Jcks who have made such a name for themselves in international circles and performed with Shakira, Alicia Keys and the Black Eyed Peas at the opening concert.

Lira, Lira, Lira, queen of the stage.

Andrea Bocelli, performing at the final concert organised by Primedia. The man gives me eternal goosebumps.

Danny K, who is sporting a very cool new mohawk. The king of reinvention has moved on from his Leanne Liebenberg (OUT: her pregnancy is going to wreak havoc with that famous FHM figure) days and is getting the female sympathy vote. Danny's dad, Daddy K, also gets an A-list vote for his part in the creation of Shout SA, along with Crimeline. Maybe I need an activists' section? Also royalties for giving Daddy K his name? In that case Yusuf Abramjee of Primedia and Crimeline also gets the A list thumbs up.

Jesse Clegg, a very cute version of his dad with his own musical style and a brand new album from Gresham Records. Vive le fils Zoeloe Blanc (my French is non existent, sorry)

Zebra and Giraffe

Kwela Tebza (snappy dress sense)

The Showstoppas


PJ Powers (sorry, stop dusting her off and resurrecting her for every opening ceremony. After 25 years it's time to give someone else a chance)

Louise Carver (good for Christmas singalongs these days, but hasn't done anything new)



Pabi Moloi (a bit of a brat but she's got staying power. And All Access is a very cool programme)

The perennially classy former Miss South Africa, Joanne Strauss (the best MC in town).

Debora Patta of Third Degree. Love her or hate her, Debora always gets people talking and respect to for doing their jobs and going where angels fear to tread (same goes for City Press editor Ferial Hafajee. The South African press need to be free, independent and vigilant even if they don't win popularity awards)

The coolest hottest weather man around, Mr Derek van Dam (he makes the weather interesting).


Penny Lebyane

The SABC, who have zero credibility or news cred

Basetsana Kumalo (She was nice about 12 years ago but seems to have had a personality transplant since)

Michael Mol (great for the ladies who lunch and his own wife but perhps it's time to hand over the reins)

Jeannie D The double DD list. (yeuch. How far up your own butt can one person be? Even the Philip Treacy hat which she wore to Royal Ascot failed to make a silk purse out of a sows ear. And the Errol Arrendz dress she wore failed to go with the hat. It was, as usual, too tight and too short)


Nadia Neophytou of Eyewitness News (flies all over the world to get her story and digs deep to get the sponsorship to do it)

Pabi, again. Though we still don't know what happened with her contract with Highveld? Hmmmm.


Jenny Cryws-Williams (change the channel unless you are an old fart)


The stellar Charlize Theron (pity she is such a snotpoppie to the SA press, though!)

Gavin Hood, of Oscar winning Tsotsi fame. He needs to move on from Wolverine though and make another gem of a movie.

Actress Terry Pheto. Pretty and fabulous.

Oliver Schmitz, director of Life, Above All, which got such a good reception at Cannes this year.

The stars of Life, Above All, first-time-actress Khomotso Manyaka and Lerato Mvelase. This is a movie to watch.

Athol Fugard, now and for ever.

Janet Suzman, Helen Suzman's daughter. What a voice.

Actor Stevel Marc, appearing at the Market Theatre in Zimbabwean director Tendayi Nyeke's production. Tendayi is telling fabulous African stories.


Vicky Crease, caterer du jour. Her clients read like a who's who and she was voted Best International Caterer. Her events beat out anything I have experienced overseas and she thinks completely out of the box.

Party maestro Otto de Jager, recently put together a no-expense spared dinner for Fifa delegates.

Floral couturier Franz Grabe, does the flowers for the Cartier boutique in Sandton.

Anthony Hamilton Russell, of the Hamilton Russell Estate in Hermanus.

Michael Fridjhon, for his fabulous Wine Experiences. Long may they continue.

Juliet Cullinan, who always finds the best boutique and garagiste wines in the country for her annual wine festival. Juliet really knows wine.

Justine Drake, editor of Eat in and foodie writer extraordinaire.

Michel Morand who attracts the A listers to Auberge Michel week after week.


Former CNN anchor turned World Cup spokeman turned lingerie businesswoman, Tumi Makgabo. Way to reinvent yourself girl! And thanks for finding a niche in the lingerie business!

The ever wonderful actress-activist Rosie Motene. My photographers always linger over her cleavageous pictures and say: "That Rosie, we smaak her .."

Miss South Africa Nicole Flint. Goes everywhere with her brother Jeffrey these days and he puts his foot down on her behalf. Nothing like a bit of brother power!

Publicist Jill Grogor, whose brainchild was the Style Awards, celebrating South Africa's most stylish people every year. She puts this fabulous event together every year, along with the Glamour Oscars.

Geoff Rothschild of the JSE, who is one of the busiest people I know but always has time to answer his emails. Now that's manners!

Businesswoman extraordinaire Wendy Luhabe.


Ray Mccauley of Rhema Church (comes across as seriously dodgy)

The Big Brother inmates from 2000 (seriously folks, how desperate are you to invite these people to anything?). Also people who were on any season of Survivor South Africa. All of them are so forgettable.

Miss South Africas from ten years back or more (unless it's Amy Kleynhans Curd)

Girls in sashes, in general.

Social climbers and wannabes

Bad boy bands


Gossip Guy said...

Hey Cheek to Chic - FYI: Cherel is back on Isidingo. The glory days of The Deep are returning! Whooop whooop!

Craig K. Whitehead said...

Indeed the pen is mightier than the sword. :)