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The week that was: a recap of the hottest launch events that lit up South African party stages

From the inspirational Fête de la Musique to the extraordinarily fun D'USSE Party SA, and the multifaceted Cannabis Expo Durban, not even the gloomy winter weather could stop Joburgers and Durbanites from enjoying many of the fabulous spoils that awaited them

The action-packed weekend kicked off with the multifaceted Cannabis Expo Durban, which saw visitors streaming into the Sibaya Casino’s Sun Park Expo to witness what has been dubbed “the biggest cannabis event on the African continent”.  Presented by the multinational healthcare group, Life International, the  four-day event – which took place from Thursday, June 6 all the way to Sunday (June 9) –  saw guests treated to a wide range of topics relating to the rapidly growing cannabis industry; from the eyebrow raising cannabis-infused dog treats to the much-talked about Durban Poison Beer and the vast array of healthcare providers.

Cannabis Expo Durban saw guests treated to a range of discussions around cannabis-related topics 

“It has been a really warm welcome here in Durban, which is what we’re accustomed to with The Cannabis Expo,” says Scott Simpson from Atami, a leading supplier of soil specially designed for cannabis plantation, adding: “It’s been nice and busy from the first to the last day of the expo.”

Fête de la Musique lit up Newtown

On the other side of town, at the ever-busy cultural precinct of Newtown in Johannesburg, the streets were buzzing with excitement and youthful energy as usual. This time as multitudes of youngsters made their way to the Newton Junction Mall for another exciting round of the international music festival, Fête de la Musique. Established in France in 1982, the South African (2019) chapter was presented on the same weekend the winner of the 2017 Vodacom NXT LVL talent search, Zethembiso “Zethe” Mdletshe was unveiled as the face of Newtown Junction Mall.

Music new find Zethembiso “Zethe” Mdletshe was unveiled as the new face of Newtown Junction Mall.

“We have chosen to officially announce this partnership specifically during the Youth Month as well as during the Fête de la Musique festival mainly because Zethe is the combination of both. Fête de la Musique has become one of the country’s greatest cultural events and an international phenomenon, and Zethe is a young ambitious South African who went all out to get herself a career in the music industry. Her talent and music  style is enthusiastic and widely celebrated,” says Heloise van Niekerk, asset manager at Atterbury.

Thrilled about the partnership, the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal music graduate had this to say:  “When they approached me they told me that I represent what the mall stands for. I’m happy because I was chosen based on what I stand for and my talent as a young South African.”

The mother of all parties; D’USSE Party SA

Hosted in a luxurious Houghton Estate private villa, north of Johannesburg, the D’USSE Party SA was an exclusive gathering of Jozi’s A-listers and game-changers, all looking their best in stylish, quintessential “cocktail” attire – with a glass of the longer-aged D’USSE (pronounced dew-say) variant in one hand and a cigar in the other.

The ultimate winter party, D’USSE Party SA

Hardly seven years after the launch of the pioneering cognac D’USSE VSOP, the world acclaimed cognac introduced its latest flagship product, D’USSE XO in South Africa in a series of events, starting with the Welcome Home Dinner at Marble Restaurant in Rosebank on World Cognac Day on Tuesday (June 4), where guests were taken on a fascinating journey through the history of the signature cognac.

The launch series culminated with the exclusive closing party on Saturday, which will no doubt go down in history as the most epic party ever to officially welcome winter in Jozi. Delivered in grand style, with the suitably elegant tipple for celebrating life’s finer moments, it was graced by some of Joburg’s finest talents, among them rappers Tumi Molekane, Da LES, Uzalo actress Nyalleng Thibedi, DJ extraordinaire Fistas Mixwell, Trending SA co-host Kuli Roberts and motswako rapper JR (born Tabure Thabo Bogopa Junior), along with his social influencer girlfriend Tshepi Vundla.

A perfect blend for the perfect occasion; the Jay-Z way

A culmination of a unique partnership between hip-hop superstar Jay-Z and Bacardi Limited, D’USSE XO is a work of exquisite craftsmanship by master distiller, Michel Casavecchia. Brought to the country specially for the occasion, courtesy of Barcadi South Africa, the world renowned cognac guru personally handpicked a selection of no less than 100 eaux de vie (unaged fruit brandies) from the cellars of France’s famed Château de Cognac (now owned by Barcadi) to create the exceptionally premium offering.

D’USSE XO, a work of exquisite craftsmanship

His task was clear and precise; to formally introduce D’USSE XO to South African audiences, and equally important demonstrate its versatility to those who care to know more about their favorite choice of cognac. D’USSE XO finds unique expression in a variety of styles, and can be taken neat at room temperature – the old school way. Better still (in a welcome move for discerning cognac connoisseurs), it can also be served as a cocktail with mixers or just ice, thus revealing fruity, aromatic notes with each sip.

“The beauty of D’USSE also lies in its seeming contradictions,” explains D’USSE’s first global ambassador, Sullivan Doh, who accompanied Casavecchia to South Africa for the launch. “It is classical and traditional, yet contemporary and playful.”

*Brand launches: For the latest South African product launch news and updates, make sure to visit NOWinSA daily

Tankiso Komane
Tankiso Komane
A Tshwane University of Technology journalism graduate, Tankiso Komane has a vast experience in print & broadcast media business and has worked for some of the country’s biggest daily newspapers, including The Sowetan, The Citizen, The Times, and The New Age. Through her varied work as a journalist, notably as a copywriter for SABC1 (On-Air promotions) and as a publicist for Onyx Communications, she has developed an in-depth understanding of the nature of the media business and how to use it for the purpose of exposure. Her expertise in journalism across various disciplines, coupled with a good reputation, has laid the foundation of a new kind "trust in Journalism" as the media ecosystem continues to digitally evolve.
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