The “July” is Upon Us
Every year on the first weekend of July, all of South Africa’s movers and shakers pack up their most dramatic hats and descend upon Durban to party up a storm. You’ll identify those who make this journey, a yearly pilgrimage if I may, by a few simple signifiers.
The women sport virgin hair weaves of no less than 18 inches and are clad in designer garbs, the men are weighed down by fat wallets fresh from pay day and on the faces both lingers a secret smile on their lips from the knowledge that it’s about to be lit. If you stare deep into their eyes, there is a yearning that could only be quenched with champagne bubbles and the high that comes from cards being swiped and money being spent. Of course there’s also the horse race, which should be the main event but has become an after thought at best.
Those who reside in Durban are always reminded of the the event 2 weeks prior by the Whatsapp messages from people they last heard from during the festive season. “I’ll be in Durban month end” they say, simply; under the impression that this will throw your world into a tailspin as you frantically prepare for their arrival. If you’re not one for great parties and congested roads, it’s generally a good time to book a weekend trip out of the city.
It’s almost that time of year yet again and the air is charged and abuzz as the city awaits the arrival of the country’s rich and fabulous. We all want to know who will be wearing what and dressed by who and what stories will be told and retold after the weekend has passed. I recall a few years ago at one of the parties that are hosted around the city on the Sunday after the horse races, a young man decided it would be a good idea to performatively rev the engine of his Beemer for the benefit of a crowd of onlookers. He started doing his thing and there were cheers, his eyes glistened with pride but around the 4th rev, his car had had enough and the bonnet exploded and burst into flames. You could see all the colour leaving his face as everyone jumped out of the way. The ramifications of the weekend for him lasted far longer than he would have probably liked.
“The July” is always the perfect backdrop for similar stories. Will you be making your way to the coast for this event this year? #Kwesefied