11 October 2014, the day had arrived for the highly anticipated Mr. & Mrs. NMMU pageant hosted at Nelson Mandela University’s South campus (Indoor sports center). With a relatively high turnout, a star filled line up of performers and a visit by T.V. personality and model Maps Maponyane hosting the event; it was a sure recipe for a memorable evening. The theme of the event was Vanity Fair and all the 23 contestants came out offering nothing but their best in hopes to gain this year’s title, reigning as the victors for the evening and ambassadors for the 2014/2015 period.
The night kicked off with a refreshing performance by local dance group Rrage who mesmerized the audience with their diversified dance routine showcasing innovative choreography. Directly after the performance followed the official beginning of the pageant as the contestants hit the runway for the first segment of the show, dressed up in formal wear impressing both the judges and the audience with their elegant yet composed struts and poses. A few crowd favorites were established during this segment, evident in the overwhelming cheers and screams for male contestants Odwa Masiza, Iris Dlamini and Sibu Nqini and female contestants Kelly Lewis, Siphosethu Mdodana to name but a few.
The screams hit a peak level once the host, Maps Maponyane, revealed himself to the crowd, formally introducing the event as well as proceedings for the evening. Applying his gentleman like approach as emcee, he was a definite favorite among the ladies. After his presentation Maponyane introduced the audience to the next modelling segment of the show which was the casual wear. Contestants came out once again in attempts to impress onlookers and convince judges that they were worthy of being the new ambassadorial faces of NMMU. One by one they came down the runway in a carefully crafted sequence that allowed each contestant the opportunity to show everyone what they had to offer. The gentlemen stole the show once again with a topless act, evoking a massive response from the female audience members, a scene which served as one of the most competitive moments of the evening.
Maponyane was not the only celebrity guest for the evening as Naak Musiq, better known as MJ from the popular South African soap opera Generations, graced the stage with a lively performance during an interval break. Noting that it was his first time performing at the university, he gave the audience a taste of his latest work with the song ‘Call Out’ ft DJ Fisherman, acquainting the crowd to the lyrics of the record. He also performed some of his well-known songs, leaving the audience craving for more after his departure from the stage. The night was also graced by the likes of Dj Speedsta catering to the needs of the hip hop lovers, followed by local success story Heavy K and his group Point5, who kept the masses dancing the night away at the after party. The evening raised the bar for NMMU’s event organizing capability and we’ll have to wait and see if next year is going to be as good if not better.
by Mandlenkosi Ntlemeza