The City of Durban hosted its first ever ESSENCE Fest in South Africa this November! This marked the start of a partnership with ESSENCE as part of a 3 year contract. It was a mix of learning, fun, and empowerment through networking, thought provoking sessions, cultural activities, business connections, musical performances. I made new friends, caught up with old ones. It was really a special experience that will help shape my personal and professional life. I was part of a collective that hosted the first Global Beauty Consortium, a team of hair and beauty executives that visited South Africa to determine what opportunities existed in the market. The City of Durban has launched an aggressive campaign to become Africa's most livable and caring city by 2030 and part of that is positioning the city to create a platform for growth, socio-economic development, and empowerment of its emerging businesses. ESSENCE Festival Durban is one of the steps in creating a diverse cultural economy.
You can read the full press release here: http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20160901005788/en/Time-Inc.’s-2016-Essence-Festival-Durban-Reveals
Now for a random story:
Neyo performed at the African All Stars concert on Saturday night. During his set he said he'd be going to hang out at Cubana Lounge. So, I decided to go find him at the spot. I get to Cubana and approach his section. The security guard is trying to figure out who I am, I make eye contact with Neyo and he waves me through. Tango, his manager, is also there and we're all surprised to connect with each other on this side of the world. As everyone decides to leave I asked if they were heading to the hotel or another party. Tango says if there's something else to do then they'll go. I hit the promoter for this spot called 47th Avenue and I set it up. They put us in a section next to Wiz Kid, the Nigerian artist, and then I went to charge my phone because I was living dangerously at 7%. Then I hit Estelle to see if she wanted to come out since she knows the guys. Estelle comes but by that time Neyo and his team have left so we take their spots in the section next to Wiz Kid. I said to Estelle, "let's take a picture -- me you and Wiz" and she says "No, never" or something to that effect (it was loud) but she was joking (that's how we play). Wiz Kid doesn't know that and then starts grilling and says "No Pictures... Back Up!!!" So, I back up. I don't think Estelle heard that but she felt the tension and then finally told Wiz Kid "that's my boy, I was just joking." Everything was cool after that, we started laughing and then we took the pic. I almost got beat up by Wiz Kid and his security because of Estelle so if you see me trip her in public you'll know what it is. (Just kidding)
Check out some pics from the 1st ever ESSENCE Festival Durban. I hope to see you there next year...