13 October 2015

For immediate release

Durban Seals Partnership Deal To Host The Essence Festival

Members of the media are invited to the official launch of the three year partnership between the City of Durban and New Orleans in the United States of America for the hosting of the Essence Festival.

The launch will take place on Thursday, 15/10/2015 at the Durban City Hall.

This partnership, among other interventions seeks to tackle the challenges of inequality, unemployment and poverty as it will create platforms focusing more on exposing women and youth in business to international markets through the Essence Empowerment Festival.

The briefing will be addressed by leadership from eThekwini Municipality and Essence Festival who will unpack the benefits of the partnership for both cities.

EThekwini team will be led by Mayor James Nxumalo, City Manager Sibusiso Sithole, Head of Business Support, Tourism and Markets Unit Phillip Sithole and Head of Parks, Recreation and Culture Unit Thembinkosi Ngcobo.

The New Orleans group will include Essence President, Michelle Ebanks, Author and Motivational speaker Iyanla Vanzant, Artist and Songwriter Kelly Price, Essence General Manager Joy Prophet and Essence National Director of Sponsorship Sales, Staci Hallmon-Bazzani.

Deputy Mayor and Chairperson of Economic Development and Planning Committee in eThekwini Nomvuzo Shabalala said: “The Essence Festival took place in New Orleans while I was deployed there for another government business and I got the chance to attend it and I was impressed by the high level of advancement towards the youth and women development.”

Shabalala said she knew from that moment that Durban needed such events that will make a difference and impact positively on the City’s women, youth, communities and economy.

“We have a challenge of youth depending on state social grants. This festival will educate and empower them so that they can be the authors of their own destiny and become self-sufficient,” she added.

Details of the press conference are as follows:

DATE: Thursday, 15/10/2015 

TIME: 09H00

VENUE: City Hall (Luthuli Hall)


Issued by eThekwini Municipality’s Head of Communications, Tozi Mthethwa. 

For more information members of the media can contact Gugu Mbonambi on 031 311 4855 or email: gugu.mbonambi@durban.gov.za or Princess Nkabane on 031 311 4818 or email:princess.nkabane@durban.gov.za

Please read this confidentiality disclaimer: Edisclaimer​