ZIO MWALE and SHIKANDA KAWANGA, Lusaka
THE hype around the Lusaka July last Saturday was not only about horses, expensive dresses and shocking booze bills but it was also about the fashion runway and live musical entertainment.Fashion lovers, celebrities, socialites and sport fanatics, all dressed to impress, flocked to the Horse Shoe Restaurant for the event.
Running with the theme ‘Colony of Wealth’, attendees came dressed to highlight their most impressive expression of the theme.
The occasion, in its third year running, was hosted by PR Girl Media, who invited Ghanaian actress Nadia Buari, South African actor Maps Maponyane and Namibian Big Brother winner Dillish Mathews as special guests.
Zambia’s own big names like Mampi and Macky II completed the A-list guest list.
The colourful event had a mixture of excitement, galloping horses and great entertainment including displays of high fashion runway, food, drinks and live music by James Sakala and Kuni.
Of course, it was about dressing to impress but most importantly about the Polo Sport, which is slowly becoming as popular as the trending occasion itself.
The colourful event started at about 12:00 hours with a competitive polo match between Zambia and Australia.
Whether one picked a spot right at the Polo field or chose to relax at one of the seats near the fashion runway, the atmosphere at the event was amazing.
And prestige was the thing as VIP tickets which were pegged at K700 attracted more people than open space where tickets were sold at K250.
The big white Marquee was the most filled for the VIPs and was extravagantly decorated whilst shisha and heater were also set.
The show of class and glamour started with the mode of transportation guests arrived in, with Jaguars and limousines seemingly the order of the day.
Like the event organisers said, the occasion was indeed a ‘must-attend’ for A-Listers, socialites and corporates as it denied no-one the limelight.
The red carpet was not only for female A-listers who showed off their outfits but men as well who came dressed in fashionable robes, slim fits and tuxedos.
The attendees walked in straight to the red carpet stage where they had a mini photo shoot.
It was lights, camera and action as a media team from Diamond Television was on hand to do live interviews where the interviewees explained what their outfit was all about.
It was evident that the attendees hugely celebrated the social occasion and shared the limelight in the premium hospitality venues.
This year’s Lusaka July special guests were South African actor Maps Moponyane, former Namibian big brother winner Dillish Mathews and Buari.
Buari, who was the main guest, arrived after 17:00 hours in a white limousine accompanied by her mother.
Buari wore a hat, an office red simple suit and black sandals.
Though she was wearing a pretty smile, there was nothing to ‘wow’ about even after the two hosts Brian and Natasha raised anxiety about what the much talked about Buari was going to wear.
Buari who looked amazed on arrival, said she was impressed with the event and how Zambians appreciate the African culture.
“I’m happy to be part of this wonderful event, I can see that it is a big event here, everyone is looking gorgeous and the environment is peaceful,” she said.
The dashing Maps had the ladies’ attention with his great looks and a fashionable chitenge print slim-fit jacket which blended well with a white shirt and black trousers.
Dillish, who arrived in the company of local artists Bomb Shell, Kuni and Cleo Ice Queen, was dressed in a pinkish elegant outfit.
Local Hip-hop artist Marky II, stormed in a chitenge tuxedos with black trousers. Not all his fans loved this outfit as fans took to social media to pass their judgement.
The dinner dresses, bow gowns, hats, fascinators, elegant chitenge outfits trended among the ladies.
Cleo Ice Queen, Mampi, Luyando woods, Bomb Shell, Mwaka Mugala, socialite Iris Kaingu and a number of local celebrities made good use of the red carpet.
Bomb Shell seemed to have the most fun utilising it. She slayed a long peach dress with white fluffy feathers pasted on it with a matching hair fascinator, she was obviously one of the best dressed.
The fashion theme was not only observed by celebs but even the ordinary people used the platform to showcase their fashion sense.
Meanwhile, PR Girl Media said the theme was designed to encourage attendants to express the richness and diversity of African fashion.
They required guests to imagine themselves as royalty and express this through their outfits, and that’s exactly what attendees did as it was difficult to differentiate between a celebrity and a commoner.
Apart from the A-Listers, socialites and corporates showing off their expensive outfits, the event saw fashion designers like Nkanda Yatu, Lace by Mwenge, Kanyembo by Blink Africa Designs, Gloria’s designers by Anna, Miss72 by Kuni showcase their latest collections, as well as Mtani from Tanzania.
The runaway models walked boldly with live music performances by James Sakala, and Kuni, as guest, enjoyed the fashion display.
Introduced in 2016, Lusaka July has become one of the most popular fashion events on the Zambian social calendar.
For PR Girl Media, a boutique public relations and events agency specialised in providing digital and traditional PR solutions, the Lusaka July will remain an annual event that will come headlined with different themes.
It is worth noting that the Lusaka July is a deliberate spin-off of the South African horse-racing event Durban July.
It is no longer just one of the fun things to do in Lusaka; it is the thing to do in Lusaka and a must-attend event for a modern-day person.
ZIO MWALE and SHIKANDA KAWANGA, Lusaka