Noma Gigaba has no time for people who suggest she’s using her Cabinet minister husband’s money to fund a passion for the finer things in life. The IT executive, who married Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba in September, caused a storm in a social media teacup this week when she was photographed in a pair of nonmatching Buscemi sneakers.
One was red and one white – and anyone who knows their Italian luxury brands will know the high-tops, complete with hand-painted edges and gold-plated padlocks, never cost less than R10 000 a pair. Noma was slammed on social media after photos of her in the swanky shoes went viral. Some accused her of rubbing her wealth in poor people’s faces and others suggested she was using someone else’s money – namely her husband’s and, by association, taxpayers’.
But she told City Press on Friday: “The money I am spending is mine. “I have no tender, as some people believe and neither do I spend Malusi’s money. The R11 000 I paid for the sneakers was my hard-earned money,” she said. She said the photos that caused all the trouble were posted by the owner of the store.
“I would never boast about something like that. Also, I did not buy two pairs of the Buscemi sneakers, as some people are saying. “The owner asked me to wear one of each colour (red and white) and then asked to take a photo of me, and I agreed,” Noma explained.
She is known for her elegant but youthful style and says she’s sad people are turning her into something she’s not. A pair of Buscemis had been on her wish list for some time. “When I saw them while shopping for my boys’ tracksuits” – the couple have young sons – “I just grabbed them,” she said.
“It was not about the price, as some people are making it seem. Not once have I ever put up a price on anything I post on social media.” Noma floods photo-sharing site Instagram with her pictures – many of them showing her wearing fancy designer apparel.
She has been dressed by high-flying local designers David Tlale, Gavin Rajah and House of Ole – and occasionally posts pictures of herself in luxury labels such as Burberry.
“When Malusi found me, I was like this,” she said.
She and her always dapperly dressed husband will be among those to look out for on the red carpet at Thursday’s opening of Parliament. Noma would say only that she would wear a long and flowing Gavin Rajah creation, but coyly declined to give further details.
Picture credit: city press