SONA: Celebrities, politicians light up the red carpet

Friday, February 16, 2018

The colour red and stand-out fashion accessories were the trend to be seen on the red carpet, shortly ahead of the State of the Nation Address, on Friday night.

From Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba and his wife, Norma’s arrival, in dazzling outfits to fashion designer David Tlale arriving in his latest design, the red carpet was a place to be and be seen.

Tlale was among the first people to arrive on the red carpet and sashayed onto the red carpet just after 4pm. 

“I am just glad we are celebrating new beginnings and what am I wearing? I am wearing David Tlale,” he quipped.

Tlale said he hoped tonight’s speech by President Cyril Ramaphosa will inspire hope.

“I would like to hear how he is going to take South Africa on a new journey of transformation and making sure that we see the promises over the years…

“We know it is not going to happen overnight, it is a journey so it is very important that we allow him to settle in, in this new position and also become supporters for change ….”

Norma Gigaba said her outfit and that of the Finance Minister were inspired by new beginnings.

“What inspires the outfit was the spirit of renewal in an elegant way,” she said.

Other crowd favourites that donned the red carpet included Home Affairs Minister Ayanda Dlodlo, Small Business Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu, DA leader Mmusi Maimane and his wife, ANC MP and Mvezo Chief Mandla Mandela and his wife Nkosikazi Nosekeni Rabia Mandela, among many others.

Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Deputy Minister Bheki Cele, who commanded presence with his hat – his favourite fashion accessory for a long time – said while he could not pre-empt the President’s speech, he expected him to touch on government’s apex priorities, including education, jobs and crime.

“I think one major thing is to work towards finding jobs, jobs, jobs,” he said.

Communications Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane said she hoped to hear from the President how the economy is going to grow and create jobs.

She said positivity has been in the air following a week of anxiety as a result of the protracted leadership transition.

“[South Africans] should be justified to be positive. We are in the year of renewal and unity as the ruling party so indeed the renewal of hope, renewal of bigger expectations …”

President Cyril Ramaphosa will deliver his first State of the Nation Address at 7pm. –

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