Hennessy unveils Durban’s First In the Paint Court

Hennessy, accompanied by NBA legend, Joakim Noah, takes it’s In the Paint initiative national by unveiling a new artistic basketball court by contemporary Artist Sphephelelo Mguni.  Hennessy, the world’s leading cognac brand, unveiled a newly refurbished basketball court at 200 Florida Road in Durban on Thursday, 13 June 2024.

 

This unveiling marks Hennessy’s third In the Paint installation in South Africa. The first two courts were unveiled in Johannesburg at Zoo Lake with artist R!OT (Sindiso Nyoni) and at Ernest Oppenheimer Park with artist African Ginger (Seth Pimentel).

 

 

For the latest instalment, Hennessy partnered with local contemporary artist Sphephelelo Mguni to bring his artistic vision to life, inspired by the unique cultue of Durban, its sense of community and how it unites individuals from all walks of life.

 

“To me, this piece represents pride, bravery, and Ubuntu. While the leopard print represents the Zulu culture, the blue background depicts the city of Durban—a place that heralds a new age of style, innovation, and creativity. The imagery is my idea of how the game of basketball and the culture that surrounds it blend together,” said Mnguni.

 

 

Known for its constant buzz, Florida Road is one of Durban’s urban culture hotspots. Activity starts early in the morning when the sidewalk cafes open, and the energy continues throughout the day and well into the night when restaurants, bars and clubs come to life – hosting a range of Durbanites who want to experience the culture through music, fashion and art.

 

This made it the perfect location for Hennessy to expand its In The Paint project outside of Gauteng. The program, which was first launched in 2021 in Montreal, Canada, is an initiative that aims to bring basketball and the culture born off the court to local communities around the world.

 

 

Echoing and celebrating the values that Hennessy is deeply rooted in, the brand’s goal is to give back to society and promote the true spirit of community in a creative, artistic way.

 

Attended by familiar faces from Durban’s music and entertainment scene, such as Linda Majola,  Saso, Trey and Shekinah, guests enjoyed live performances by Maglera Doe Boy and Que DJ while sipping on basketball inspired Hennessy cocktails. The community also participated in the unveiling by playing a 3-on-3 game to inaugurate the court.

 

 

Former NBA Legend and In the Paint Global Ambassador, Joakim Noah travelled to Durban for the unveiling. Known for his basketball prowess on the court during his time with the Chicago Bulls, LA Clippers and the New York Knicks, Noah has partnered with Hennessy since 2021, where he attended his first In the Paint unveiling in Lagos, Nigeria.

Showing his support for Hennessy’s drive to bring the spirit of the game to countries across Africa, Noah said, “Giving back to communities is part of who I am. So, partnering with Hennessy to become a Global Ambassador for In The Paint happened very organically. It combines a few of my biggest passions – basketball, art, and philanthropy. With Hennessy, I get to see my passions being played out in Africa, where my family ties are, and across the world. I couldn’t be prouder to be an ambassador for such a great initiative.”

 

David White, the General Manager Southern Africa and Marketing Director of Moët Hennessy, expressed his excitement around the unveiling, stating, “This is not just a basketball court, it’s a creative canvas that tells Hennessy’s story of bringing together the SPIRIT of basketball with urban culture IN A uniquely Durban setting. We are delighted to be moving beyond Johannesburg for the first time with this court – hopefully the first of many more nationwide.”

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