The promotional aspect of getting big names involved in government initiatives makes sense in theory, but often conjures up suspicions from taxpayers, notably the bill paid to stars.
Nkosinathi Maphumulo, AKA DJ Black Coffee, is partnering with the eThekwini municipality to help boost Durban tourism locally and internationally.
The Durban Tourism Vignette was launched on Wednesday at Max’s Lifestyle Lounge nestled in the heart of Umlazi township.
With much of the partnership centred around visiting Durban during the winter season, the city is banking on its warm weather and clear skies that many other places are envious of during the colder months.
Municipal official Philip Sithole made it clear that one of the world’s biggest DJs is not getting paid for his contribution.
Black Coffee’s booking fee for events doesn’t come cheap.
Government officials and the public are well aware of the struggle faced by the local tourism industry due to the pandemic.
Initiatives with celebrities in an effort to draw numbers have been criticised, as money paid for their influence could have been used to help many establishments.
Just recently, Somizi Mhlongo’s ministerial cook-off in Tshwane had people wondering how this would boost tourism in Thembisa.
Somizi confirmed on eNCA he was paid, supposedly R150,000 for his appearance, adding much furore to these types of collaborations.
But Durban Tourism says this time is different.
“I just want to make it clear, we have paid him nothing. It is part of his contribution to his city, province and the people of South Africa,” Sithole said, more so, to the people in the township.
The vignettes are short travel videos highlighting the best spots in Durban.
Black Coffee gives viewers his favourite places that one should visit, such as the Oyster Box, the popular rickshaw rides along the beaches, Wish on Florida restaurant and the Inanda Heritage Route started by ANC stalwart John Dube.
The vignettes will also air worldwide and the city hope’s Black Coffee’s international appeal will be the pulling factor. MTV Base and BET Africa are on board to showcase the authentic Durban story.
The star said it was easy for him to get involved, with eThekwini being his birth city, and said he was simply “donating” his time to promote Durban as it “is the place to be”.
Black Coffee noted the rising Covid-19 cases in SA and how this contrasts to some parts of the world he has recently visited.
During his tours abroad, many places are open and people aren’t wearing masks due to the accelerated number of people being vaccinated.
“When I get back home, my fellow artists are not working because of the pandemic. For someone who has the mic, like me, I am going to use it to do right and say what needs to be said.”
“We accept the situation as it is, but the most important question is, what do we do going forward?”
Referring to the protest action taken by KZN artists last year, he said it “didn’t end well for them”, concluding their actions were wrong, but they felt it had to be done due to their dire financial situation.