Mantombi Makhubele
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Even her best friend was kept in the dark as 'Generations' star walked down the aisle to tie knot with bishop


A party fit for an emperor

ACTRESS and wedding planner Sophie Ndaba sprung a surprise at her Thanksgiving lunch on Tuesday that would have made her scheming TV character proud.

I was one of more than 200 guests invited to her annual soirée at Johannesburg's Summer Place.

But, instead of just a luncheon with friends and family, Sophie, known to most as Generations' Queen Moroka, exchanged vows with man of the cloth Bishop Keith Harrington.

And it was evident that religion plays a big part in the new couple's lives. The ceremony featured gospel music and sermons by several pastors.

Pastor Solly Mahlangu was the master of ceremonies, and we were treated to performances by Judith Sephuma, The Three Afro Tenors and Keke, to name a few .

Sophie deliberately kept herself scarce for the first half of the proceedings. Eventually she was heard on the loudspeakers telling guests how grateful she was for everything in her life.

Then the cat was let out of the bag when Keith and his best man walked to the front in their smart silver suits.

Guests gasped in delight as they realised they were actually there for a garden wedding. Sophie's teenage daughters, Shallon and Rudo, said they were told to come along as their mom was short of ushers for the "lunch".

No one seemed more shocked than talk-show host Penny Lebyane, who loudly exclaimed that her BFF had kept the wedding a secret even from her.

The bride walked down the aisle in a Gert Johan Coetzee gown as songstress Brenda Mtambo delivered a wonderful rendition of Jennifer Hudson's Giving Myself.

Keith, who is the founder of Keith Harrington Ministries and has a "healing centre" in Limpopo, took out two sachets of salt and handed one to his bride.

''Salt is also an antiseptic. When you came into my life, you healed all of my wounds and changed my entire life," he said.

Sophie's matron of honour was the ever elegant and beautiful Connie Ferguson. I was sitting behind her husband, Shona, and could not help noticing the two stealing looks at each other. It's obvious they're still very much in love after 10 years of marriage.

Other lovebirds among the guests were comedian David Kau and his wife, Thalia, who wore a stunning peach dress.

I felt a bit sorry for Penny Lebyane, who, had made a speech during the thanksgiving ceremony about how tight she is with Sophie. But she got over her shock soon enough and led the ululations with Sephuma and actress Rami Chuene. It was a nice touch to add some township spice to the northern suburbs.

Former Miss South Africa Bokang Montjane looked regal in her long floral summer dress.

I have to say well done to Ndaba's fellow actress from Generations Nambitha Mpumlwana, who was the chief organiser. She marched around the venue like a drill sergeant with a walkie-talkie in hand.

Uyanda's big bash

FASHIONISTA Uyanda Mbuli's All Things Fab Birthday Bash at ZAR Lounge in Sandtonon Wednesday night got off to a slow start, thanks to a broken lift.

I was just chuffed that I did not wear high heels.

Uyanda had a five-tier, red velvet cake decorated with lots of gold icing . I'm told it cost R12000 and was made by Linda Lipschitz of Belle's Patisserie.

Uyanda wore leather hot pants matched with a pair of gorgeous Christian Louboutin Daffodile shoes. The 16cm heels made her the tallest person in the room.

Her mom, Refilwe Makhapela, was also there, along with her sisters, Khosi Nyezi and Phumzile Mogodi. I never knew the always pleasant Uyanda had a cheeky streak. Annoyed at people chatting while her mother gave a speech, she grabbed the mike and ordered everyone to "Shoosh!"

Others there included model Jena Dover, comedian David Kau (he seems to be EVERYWHERE these days), actresses Rosie Motene and Faye Peters, and former beauty queen Augustine Chuene, who is married to lawyer Bally.

I hear the Chuenes will be holidaying in New York and Disney World in the US.

The venue's owner, Kenny Kunene, I am sorry to report, was well behaved. There was no sushi . He arrived with a Mafioso-looking guy in a grey suit and dark glasses who drank French champagne straight from the bottle. The cheek!

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