Penthouse Vibes: Black & Gold 🎩

It’s early October and most of us are still recovering from Oktoberfest Lusaka, but there’s no rest for the wicked – PR Girl are up to something already.

Hints of a ‘levels up’, premium, fresh & fun party with a grown and sexy dress code fill the timelines. Lusaka’s curiosity peaked. This is only the beninging (beginning* sorry, I had to 😂). Could you guess the venue? My guess is as good as yours, not very good at all.

With time, a venue is revealed – the 11th floor of the new Sun Share Tower along Katima Mulilo Road in Olympia. Boasting a glorious view of the city, it promises to be a TOP night!

The promotions run, we’re all sooo expectant – a black and gold theme, VIP lounge, happy hour, free drinks on arrival, free canapés, a roll out of DJs set to take us on a trip (from Jazz to Hip Hop) AND the addition of my absolute FAVE Caitlin Deville – you can’t help but think “this is the party of the year!”. What totally wins ME over is the promo video featuring the hosts of the 11th floor festivities – El Mukuka, Cleo Ice Queen, Iris Kaingu and Macky II, they bring the heat and because I suffer severe fomo I am SOLD!

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Fast forward to December 16th, the night of (arguably) the most anticipated party of the year – because I’d like to forget all the planning and costs that went into getting ready for the night. It was time, another night out with the squad – all dressed up and ready to turn up at the top 😉

So here’s how the night rolled out for me. The theme was black and gold & we had a dope time but the night wasn’t perfect so let’s play a game – yellow hearts for a win (💛) and black hearts for an L (🖤).

Fashion – 💛💛💛💛💛

In the promo video, my favorite line was Iris’ “Believe it or not, I actually love to get dressed up.” – not only because she was being smart with it but because it really does apply to all of us. We like things and things demand A LOOK.

Lusaka stepped out in style that night. Sun Share was a river of black & gold, as people streamed in on the red carpet. Some played it safe and others took it way out of the park. Even the gents had fun with black and gold. But the night wouldn’t be complete without a hint of blue and red from the rebels 😅

Local designers took the win for the night as lots of us stepped out in their pieces, and the black and gold theme forced us to rip away from the ever-present chitenge in Zambian designs.

I wore a jacket by MK 72 (Miles Kasanda) from his Alchemy collection which I had seen earlier in the year at Zambia Fashion Week and fallen in love. I’m not very fashion forward, so I decided to style it classy hobo.

I’m no fashionista but here’s a few of my favorite looks.

Venue – 💛💛

We hang out in the lobby for a while as we waited on the hosts to pull in the limo!

The idea of a party on the 11th floor with the striking view of Lusaka city was a win in itself, but that particular venue was not ready for a party at the top.

The elevators were so slow, a bunch of us took elevator selfies. I’m claustrophobic, so I already hate the idea of an elevator, but I had to use these ones at least five times that night because the nearest bathrooms were all the way on the 1st floor. I can’t quite remember my reaction when I heard this but the number of angry socialites on the elevator grew with each trip to the bathroom – I’m childish so it was mildly hilarious. Other than that the place was styled to perfection and the views from the top were exhilarating.

Food & Beverages – 🖤🖤

Strongbrow was the welcome cider of choice, Miller the welcome beer – a cup of each, decent.

I was so excited for the canapés, they didn’t come…in their place came a platter of bites for each table/section in the VIP – it was cold, but it kept coming and I appreciate that it kept coming because when you’re inebriated and famished, the temperature doesn’t really matter.

I heard whispers of an elusive food menu – I never saw it but it was there.

The bar was well stocked, providing a decent variety of drinks (beer, cider, champagne and cocktails) – my only qualm here was the hunt for ice that followed a trip to the bar. Other than that we were good to be lit!

VIP was also greeted with a free bottle of boxed Chivas per table, so this lifts the score a little.

Service – 💛💛

In the promos leading to the event everyone was guaranteed bottle service. There was a semblance of it, but it came with a bit of hounding. When it did come though, it was good.

The service at the bar was quick – considering the crowd around it.

We had an elevator guy to push the buttons and control elevator traffic – that was a plus 🤷🏾‍♂️😅

VIP also had half nekkid Chippendale looking dudes (yes, complete with the bowties) holding up the ropes whenever you wanted to leave or cross over from chintu bwingi – so if that’s your thing, they were your eye candy for the night 😉

Entertainment – 💛💛💛💛💛

This was definitely where the night struck GOLD! No black, except the melanin in the room 😅

El Mukuka kicked it off with a deep house, electronic set that was apt to set the tone for the night. He played a few of HIS bops and some that I couldn’t personally recognize but still had me bopping my head.

And then Caitlin Deville hopped onto the center of the dance-floor to hypnotize the crowd with her violin and and dance moves. That same set from the Stanbic Music Festival but it still gave me all the new feels. She added a performance of her cover of DJ Maphorisa and Major Lazer’s Particula, which she easily slayed. Also, is it even a night out if this song doesn’t play in some shape or form?

Our hosts (Cleo and Iris) were present to yell “What’s up Lusaka?” and ask how the fxxxxx party is going in between sets. You know, for the culture.

DJ Gesh Groove (aka Uncle Gesh – it’s what I call him), with his goatee appropriately colored s shade of gold, came through for Old School hour. One long throwback, playing tunes from TLC to Nelly. It was nostalgic, but also left you searching for your morals…with your buttocks…on the floor because when Nelly says “drop down and get your eagle on!”, you do just that! Definitely my favorite part of the evening.

DJ V-Jeezy took to the decks next for what turned out to be rap-along Hip Hop hour. Every song he played, the crowd effortlessly rapped along. A couple grinding in the corner, a couple of girls twerking on the dance floor, the milly rock spreading like wild fire, and hands going UP and down in unison to DJ Khaled’s “All I Do Is Win”. I don’t know what it is but V-Jeezy kept the crowd going, Hip Hop is his niche!

And then at 1 o’clock as if someone had pushed a button, the night ended. So abruptly we were bade goodnight and the music stopped. Everyone sat in shock for a few minutes before accepting the night was over and proceeding to what I assume was the next stop.

Overall, not a bad one for the first ever Penthouse Party, my squad made it lit for me! 😁

I ended the night HAPPY, with a bottle of champers and my shoes in my hand 🍾

Photo Credit: Balistiq Photography / PR Girl Media (check their Facebook page to see more photos).

LUSAKA JULY ‘17: THAT AFRICAN BAD & BOUJEE

Polo…

Fashion…

Gourmet cuisine…

African Luxury, what you know about THAT?

PR Girl Media came through and put these elements together for what I feel was the best event of the year 2017 thus far. A combination of polo, fashion (both runway and draped on guests), live music, gourmet food and opulent beverages tuned to an African Luxury theme; apt, seeing as this IS Zambia (THE REAL AFRICA).

This isn’t the first Lusaka July event, but this one was bigger, and definitely better (not only because I went to this one). The first one was a test run, it was lowkey and not promoted as hard so most of us barely knew about it. This year’s event had people talking MONTHS before D-DAY. Conversations ranged from ticket prices to the name of the event; ZMW 700 a piece had jaws dropping and Cement Twitter talking about the number of houses or goats you could buy with that amount (pffttt, all the eye rolls, let people enjoy things!). The name ‘Lusaka July’, another topic of many an online discussion, because of its perceived direct relation to The Durban July; recent explanations have been made as to why The Lusaka July…because it is a glamorous polo/fashion event, and the most popular event involving horses and high fashion is The Durban July. PR Girl ran with something their audience could relate with and gave it a Zambian spin.

The months leading up to the event were filled with anticipation as performers, designers, event activities and sponsors were slowly unveiled. Each day it became clearer that this was no average event and maybe, just maybe, it was worth that 7 hunna. When South African actress and TV personality Boity Thulo was announced as the special guest, I can bet you ticket sales shot up by at least 50%. Hell, I’m not her biggest fan but even I was stoked!

Boity Thulo


The most exciting announcement for me though, besides the 8 drink coupons and the food stalls, was the social media booth on the red carpet that was gonna be hosted by Taonga Kaonga and I, a first for me and for any other event in Zambia. Of-course there were discussions in the background but that official announcement had me even more hype for the event, especially because I knew this meant I would definitely get the chance to meet Boity and be the envy of many of you.

The final run up to event was CRAZY! Every tailor you went to had someone prepping for The July. Zambians were ready to BRING IT with the fashion. I got to run around with PR Girl Media for a day and saw how hectic a full day with them pre-event is. We did radio with Luchi and TV with Malama of Diamond TV, this was the fun stuff.

8th July came around and I was so hype I barely slept the night before.

Nervcited, that’s the word. I was super excited and nervous at the same damn time! I was not only going to attend, but was gonna be doing live interviews with some of your favorite local socialites and celebrities. I had never done interviews before this so the nerves were definitely present.

I got to The Horse Shoe at 11 AM, as agreed, and the set up was magnificent. Definitely a luxury event! Red carpet arrivals were set for 11:00 to 12:30, but you and I know ALL about ‘Zambian time’.

While we waited I watched a polo match or two. I had NO idea what was going on, all I remember is thinking “damn, these horsies are soooo big,” I even saw one with a star tatted butt. I’ve heard some horror stories about horses going crazy because of noise so I kept a good distance just in case. I was slightly ashamed when I saw what looked like a 5 year old riding a horse 5 times his size and STILL being able to play the polo, madness!

The polo


The carpet only started to flow with guests after 1 PM and so my social media hosting on Facebook live commenced.

The red carpet fashion was an eclectic mix of chitenge fabric (the people’s obvious go-to for the African Luxury theme), beads, laces, African warrior gear, tuxedos and the occasional person that looked like they had been told about the event the night before and simply rocked up in their Saturday Night/Sunday best.

Mr & Mrs Wood
Benas B Money

Trevor Mumba

Iris Kaingu

Tivo & Salma Sky

MAFASHIO

[Shameless plug: Check out the videos on the Lusaka July Facebook page]

Seeing as my job for the day was to talk to everyone on the red carpet and give fomo to people that decided they’d rather buy a bundle and watch the event via the interwebs, I missed out on some parts of the event. A friend of mine, however, knowing how much I like to share my event experiences with you all offered to share what I had missed while I was on the job.

Lusaka July, as told by Longa Mukoma:

The Sun was out and the winds were calm on this July Saturday, ideal for the second Lusaka July; the prestigious undertaking by Zambia’s very own PR Girl Media. No expense was spared on the layout as seats were spread around tastefully decorated spaces on a freshly trimmed lawn overseeing an on-going polo match that few could tell you the end score of. The food section had a range of cuisine from fresh sushi, prawns and wasabi to Zambian snacks; chikanda and fried groundnuts as well as a delightful treats for sweet toothed patrons. 

Fave image from event: Nasilele chowing down on a sugar cane

The red carpet rolled out on time as the invites indicated but if ever the expression “fashionably late” was most at work ,this was the place. I shamefully arrived a little after 2pm just in time to find lunch in session and only half-filled lawn area. Regardless,the atmosphere was warm and people mingled with one other over food and drink. An hour in,the crowd was buzzing but not for the reasons one would expect;a swarm of bees (likely without an invite) had descended upon a table setting up a home beneath it just close enough to warrant a few patrons to pick their plates and move to safe distance. Quick action was taken to ensure they were pacified and no injuries were encountered .In event organising ,anything can can go wry but seeing how swiftly a crisis is handled and how quickly a crowd returns to enjoying festivities demonstrates true professionalism. This was a winning point for the organisers. 

More guests arrived in their Sunday best in adherence to the African Luxury themed soirée, stopping to take photographs on the red carpet before a near-angelic Cleo Ice Queen came out to formally welcome us as the host of the event. 

Cleo Ice Queen: Our hostess

 

She patrolled the crowd filled with a blend of guests who included musicians; Kuni,Wezi, Mampi,Salma Sky, media personalities Mafashio as well as an elegantly threaded Catherine Phiri of Zambian boxing fame. Soon ,the music stage came to life and the sounds of a guitar filled the air. James Sakala opened with a beauty acoustic rendition of his song ‘Kanfumu’ pulling even the most dedicated backbenchers (such as myself) nearer to the stage. 

James Sakala

He went on to deliver masterful covers of a few K’Millian numbers while a crowd of women swooned in awe as frowns of concern from the men they came followed them. 

I finally got a chance to join the festivities and ditch the interweb booth just in time for the fashion show.
I’m not much of a fashion head, I wear what feels comfortable and looks good to me, but even I was impressed by the collections exhibited on the Lusaka July runway.

“Africa’s highest fashion was showcased at the Lusaka July. It was a day of glitz and glamour as designers from Zambia, Ghana, South Africa and Botswana blew us away with their stunning designs. Chisoma Lombe of ChizÒ, Nadrey Laurent from Accra, Quiteria & George from Johannesburg, Mwenge of LaceEsnoko by chiza and Gaborone’s IZaura by Mothusi Lesolle -Four cities of fashion and a spectacular runway brought undeniable style to Zambia’s most prestigious event.”

Our local models brought their smize and strut and set the runway alight. The designers’ choice of runway music gave it that extra flare and everyone was taken in the moment. Models are such a sight to behold, now imagine a model elegantly dressed in top designs strutting their stuff down the runway, live in front of your very eyes.

The show was magic!

Below are some of my favorite pieces:

My favorite local model, Christina, was one of them and she said she loved my outfit 😁😍
Following the looks served by the designers, the people got a chance to be rewarded for the effort put into their attire as well.

Best dressed (male and female) won a return trip to Durban courtesy of Proflight, picked by the local fashion influencers present at the event.

Everyone was hoping to snatch this one, but I think we all agree Stanley Kaseke deserved to walk away with the best dressed male prize, his outfit was elaborate and on theme!

Best dressed male; Stanley Kaseke

Chisanga Mwila walked away as best dressed female and I haven’t stopped looking at pictures of that dress since…looking like a beautiful peacock, she brought the slay!

Best dressed female: Chisanga Mwila

After the fashion show, Zambia’s rising star Zarani took to the stage in a navy blue lace number accompanied by the Afro Red band. The way she swayed her hips as she covered some of our fave jams, from Davido’s If to MJ’s The Way You Make Me Feel…and went on to perform some of her own tunes. A powerful voice, a gorgeous face and body and some killer dance moves: the full package. Keep your eyes peeled, this one will be a star.

Watch out for ZARANI

As Zarani sang to us in the background, I finally got the chance to speak to Boity. Yes, that video is there for all to see. She is the sweetest person and said I looked good. She smells amazing too and her skin literally radiates a glow that we can’t pin on hydration. She plugged the after party during our short little interview and just like that the day was a wrap.
People mingled and hang around, drinking wine, networking and taking pictures in the outfits they’ll probably never wear anywhere else as they awaited the after party festivities to begin at 8PM. The after party saw Boity dancing on tables, to the tunes brought by DJ Hussein as patrons and matrons popped bottles of champagne to the end the night at The Horse Shoe restaurant that was turned into our club for the night.

Featuring, LONGA MUKOMA – Twitter: followLonga

Instagram: artsyonthegram

Photo credit: PR Girl Media x Kreative Kingdom

Photo credit: Chellah Tukuta Productions