Menzi Mbatha.
Menzi Mbatha.
Image: Marc Shoul

Essential grooming products? An ex-girlfriend, now-friend introduced me to Kiehl’s, a fantastic brand with excellent innovation. Kiehl’s Vital Skin-Strengthening Super Serum is my absolute favourite.

Essential tech? I’ve been an Apple user since the iPhone 4. To be honest, I couldn’t tell you anything about any other products. Don’t know, don’t care.

Your single most sentimental and important object? I never studied music but have always been drawn by the physical aesthetics and the talent to play a piano. Some years back, my ultra-generous best mate and business partner gifted me a Yamaha Disklavier Enspire upright. It nourishes my soul when my children play.

Where do you dine out? Dolci Café in Craighall Park in Johannesburg is a quaint, understated family-owned trattoria. It’s another success for Mama Luciana Righi, whom we know from Osteria Tre Nonni and Assaggi, and her daughter chef Jackie Righi-Boyd — a true culinary dynasty.

A watch that you love? The Panerai Luminor Marina 44mm. It offers sophisticated movements with large, sporty cases in very contemporary design. I’m also eyeing a 1970s Tudor Submariner. The luxury watch as an investment class is back en vogue.

The last place you travelled to that captured your heart? In the 1950s, Shanghai was a fishing village. Today it is like New York on steroids. Bright, young, fashionable locals, a large expat community engulfed by Chinese hospitality — it’s hard to find anything else like it. I can’t wait to see it again, because it has no doubt enjoyed another facelift since my last visit.

Shanghai, China.
Shanghai, China.
Image: Supplied

The last meal that really blew you away? My mother is an excellent cook. I would be short-changing her to limit my answer to only one of her dishes.

Listening to? I’m besotted with old school R&B from the late-90s to early 2000s — high-school love.

Next on your list of must-have items? I have a firm eye on the discontinued Ferrari Scaglietti, which I can hopefully “syndicate purchase” with a mate.

The best gift you’ve recently received? My children make cards for my birthday and Father’s Day that are cherished and stay on my desk till the following year.

A gift that you’ve recently given? An Earth Warrior yoga mat made from 100% natural and eco-friendly material.

What place inspires you? Our family farm in the Cradle of Humankind — our weekly Sunday lunches out there reset my speedometer for the week ahead. That, and my occasional visit to Wilderness on the Garden Route, which reconstitutes my faculties altogether.

Something that recently caught your attention? Every quarter, JP Landman writes a political analysis piece for Nedbank Private Wealth. In the most testing times of our democratic disposition, time and time again, I’ve witnessed Oom JP rise above common rhetoric and diligently demonstrate why we should remain positive about the prospects of our country. For giving hope under thick clouds, I wish to recognise JP Landman.

Image: Supplied

Currently reading? I’m re-reading Stephen Trombley’s Fifty Thinkers Who Shaped the Modern World.

Last item of clothing you added to your wardrobe? Pyjama shorts and pants from Paul Smith. They’re 100% cotton, simply divine to sleep in, and sufficiently stylish that I don’t have to worry about taking them off!

The one indulgence you would never forgo? The League of Gentlemen is a Friday-lunch club that I have proudly been affiliated with for some 14 years. It started as a culinary adventure among a few friends. Today it’s a diverse 17-member group, and every week we convene over good food and wine. These lunches have solved life problems, funded businesses, helped charities, shaped minds, and much more.

 From the June edition of Wanted, 2021.

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