International Mohair Summit 2013 Gala Dinner

The Second International Mohair Summit began yesterday, taking place in the heart of the Karoo and the mohair farming community - Jansenville. Perfect weather and esteemed guests joined forces to create a buzz in the town, with the Investor's Conference kicking things off. Mr Gerald Mvoko of the Cacadu District Municipality facilitated proceeding, which aimed at discussing important issues such as empowerment intitiatives, animal beneficiation, development in manufacturing and inter-governmental participation. Mayor of Ikwezi, Sizwe Mngwevu opened the panel alongside Hon. MEC of Department of Local Government and Traditional Affairs, Mr Mlibo Qoboshiyane. Various government officials and Mohair South Africa representatives lead the discussion - a successful framework in which to engage in conversation about current issues in the industry. Later in the evening, Local, National and International delegates gathered under the beautiful Karoo sky in a glorious white tent to build communications and enjoy some wonderful local entertainment. MC for the evening and Port Elizabeth born and raised model and presenter, Sashi Naidoo, welcomed local government, media, farmers and buyers and producers of mohair to what was set to be an exciting evening of music, fashion, dancing and the prestigious Zegna Awards. aimed at stimulating skills development in the local community, introducing the end consumer to the luxurious product and creating an awareness of mohair both nationally and internationally - these are the aims of the summit as highlighted by both the Mayor and Hon. MEC Zoleka Capa. Delegates were treated to a variety of acts, including praise singers, a reading by a local poet, gumboot and traditonal dancers, pantsula dancers and jazz by TwoTone Music. But the highlight of the entertainment was the Fashion Show! Outstanding mohair garments made their way down the runway to the delight of delegates, with cheers and applause in abundance. Local designers showcased their latest work, as well as that of two Japanese design students who showed their gorgeous mohair ranges alongside the top third and fourth year NMMU design students and alumni Laduma Ngxokolo and Kelly Esterhuyse who have both been snapped up by esteemed national and international magazines and companies. Chunky knits, all white, capes and hoods monochrome, summer knitwear and Alexander McQueen-esque futuristic pieces were the trends of the night and definitely worth watching for the upcoming seasons. Then it was time for the esteemed Zegna Awards, recognising excellence in the production of mohair and rewarding those farmers who produced the best bales of the yyear. After a lovely video message from the man behind the Italian company, Reinhold du Randt (Chairman of Mohair South Africa) handed out awards the top 10 mohair bale producers and farmers this year, with the grand prize and number one spot going to FE Colborne and Sons. Congratulations and what a groovy farmer Mr Colborne is - dancing his way onto stage to cheers and applause from the delegates. The rest of the evening was spent dancing and celebrating this "Province of Legends", as MEC Capa so adequately put it. Great food and service from the locals (just another way the summit enables growth in this micro-economy) was the cherry on top of a wonderfully successful evening and the start of what is sure to be an incredible summit in Jansenville!