Jive from the Red Carpetby Diane Coetzer / 06.11.2009
As the recent Channel O awards once more proved, it’s just damn impossible to ignore self-described socialite Uyanda Mbuli.
“Look at my shoes, don’t you love them,” she squealed, pointing out very carefully and with a wink (I swear) that the patent red sculpted heels were CHRISTIAN LOUBOUTINE.
Actually, I only got wind of this information because I happened to be sitting next to Independent Newspapers social columnist and music writer, Therese Owen so I suspect Ms Mbuli believed me to be someone important. And once she was off, there was no stopping Mbuli who made a point of telling us that the dress she was wearing was bought at a charity auction. “I feel so good knowing I did something for others,” she said, with not a slither of self-awareness at the fact that those non-charity fodder, shiny heels probably set her back the price of an RDP house.
Like her namesake – the indefatigable Mzwakhe – Mbuli seeks the limelight with the frenzied purpose of someone who believes that without it, they’re worth no more than a pair of Mr Price pumps. After all, how you’re going to live up to your own billing of being a “Fashion Icon, Queen of Fabulousity and superb Role Model,” on a Facebook page called ‘I love Uyanda Mbuli’ that you set up, if you spend your days hunkered down in front of the TV watching South Africa’s Got Talent?
Actually, Mbuli needn’t fret: if the tabloids are to be believed, her range of clothing – the unfathomably named ‘Diamond Face Couture’ – seemed to be dressing everyone who was anyone at the awards, held last week at Carnival City in Brakpan.
Vuzu VJ and ex-Channel O stalwart, Nonhle, used her role as co-host to wear a string of DFC outfits which she reportedly dubbed the best clothes in Mzansi – something I guess makes sense if you like to look purple and frothy. (Actually I’m being unkind: if Uyanda is the self-anointed queen, Nonhle looked the princess of fabulousity throughout the night). And she did a good job of manning the stage, with co-hosts Lungile and the always-funny KB (though she really should stop prefacing every sentence with the word ‘now’). But the real stars of the show were the African artists who showed that they can easily rustle up more votes than their South African counterparts who’ve given up moaning about not winning with the thudding realisation that their fans are maybe just too lazy to make a mark in these publicly-voted awards.
The Nigerian contingent was out in force, hitting the stage over and over again, never forgetting to thank God, “first and foremost” and proving that being from a place where even the Minister of Culture points you to a market aflood with pirated CDs, when you ask about buying Nigerian music (it’s a long story), is no barrier to continental domination.
Aside from seeing Ms Mbuli’s missile-like accuracy for placing herself in front of a camera, for myself, being there on the night also delivered proof of some things that I’ve long thought about music awards events. These are that a) no winner EVER does it alone and MUST have a posse of producers with them, even if there are LOTS of them and they appear out of NOWHERE. b) Guest presenters should be restricted to announcing the category, the nominees and the winners and should NEVER engage in on-stage banter because it’s always ALWAYS lame (this goes for the SAMAS too), and c) No amount of glaring and internal pleading will stop the public gallery from booing when a winner they don’t like tries to speak.
* To catch the 2009 Channel O Music Video Awards tune in on Sunday November 8th from 20h30:
Images © and courtesy Annel Malan, Speakerbox click here to view the full red carpet gallery.
* Here are the winners in full:
BEST MALE – DAREY
BEST FEMALE – SASHA
BEST NEWCOMER – KHULI
BEST DUO GROUP OR FEATURING – BUFFALO SOULJAH/TAYGRIN/GAL LEVEL
BEST DANCE – LADY MAY
BEST RAGGA DANCEHALL BUFFALO SOULJAH
BEST AFRO POP – GAL LEVEL
BEST KWAITO – GAZZA FT. BLEKSEM
BEST R&B – DAREY
BEST HIP HOP – ZEUS
BEST SOUTHERN – LIZHA JAMES
BEST WEST – IKECHUKWU
BEST EAST – XOD
AMARULA VIDEO OF THE YEAR – NAETO C