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HilarySays takes South Africa! A Recap of her Experience at #TVNFinale 2017

Hilary Rodriguez-Taiwo

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Sawubona BellaNaijarians!

It’s Hilary from Hilarysays.com again.

I’m back from my short trip to Johannesburg, South Africa, which I visited for the finale of The Voice Nigeria. I’m so sad, I wish I could have stayed longer!

When I was invited to go on this trip, I was extremely excited, I had never been to South Africa. In fact, I had never visited any other African country apart from Nigeria, which is home. I decided to read online about Johannesburg, and part of that excitement became fear because of some of the horror stories I read, stating how dangerous Johannesburg is. I said a quick prayer and I knew I would be fine. God’s got me!

Preparing for this trip was pretty quick and easy; I packed 2 hours before I left for the airport. I checked the weather for Johannesburg and it was 24C, so I packed summery clothes.

Got to the airport 3 hours before my flight time so I checked in and spent the rest of my time taking selfies and getting to know the other people going on the trip with me.

At the airport in Lagos waiting for my flight

We arrived in Johannesburg at 5 am, stepped out of the airport and the kind of cold that slapped me, I knew I was screwed because I had packed clothes for warm weather; but as a London girl, I was ready to rock my clothes come rain, sun, hail or snow lol.

Being my first time in South Africa, I was pleasantly surprised; Johannesburg is such a beautiful city, it reminded me of England. I just kept thinking we have a long way to go in Nigeria.

We stayed at this absolutely gorgeous hotel, The Protea Balalaika in Sandton, I wished I could take all their furniture back to Lagos. Green is my favourite colour so I felt right at home in the foyer.

The hotel lobby

My favourite chair

Quick elevator selfie

My room

The Bathroom- I’m a sucker for gorgeous bathrooms

View from my room

Breakfast  – I may be small but I sure do NOT play with my food lol. Proud foodie!

We arrived the same day as the finale of The Voice Nigeria so we did not have much time to explore the city. After breakfast, I slept for a few hours and headed to the Nelson Mandela Square for lunch and some sightseeing.

At the airport in Lagos waiting for my flight

The Michelangelo Hotel

Breath-taking view! – I did not want to leave

I just realized I did not take a picture at the huge Nelson Mandela statue. As we had limited time, after walking about for a few hours, we settled for lunch in Ocean Basket. I was a bit skeptical about eating there initially as I’m not a great fan of the branch in Lagos, but it didn’t turn out bad at all.

Fear not, I did not eat all that alone lol. It was a platter for 2 but I had 2/3 of it

No way was I going to leave without having some dessert – Baklava Cheesecake 

This innocent looking fruit cocktail had a shot of whiskey in it to kick start my day….lol

So full and almost bursting out of the seams of my dress, I had to rush off to the hotel to prepare for the show. At this point I really wanted to sleep, my bed was looking so appealing lol.

I had to ginger myself, I had a quick shower and got dolled up in true “Hilary Style”. I wore a cute dress by Peter Pilotto, feeling like a princess.

We arrived at the studio and it looked amazing although it looked much smaller than it looks on TV. I loved it!

Being in the studio and watching how a live show is run was awesome and crazy at the same time-everything had to run according to perfect time. A lot of running around during breaks; it was a great experience.

I was so happy when Idyl was announced as the winner, he killed his performance and the entire studio went crazy for him. I couldn’t get a selfie with him  but I managed to get selfies with 2 other contestants and the lovely IK Osakioduwa. I also got to sit on the hot seat as the fifth coach.

Idyl with some of his fans 

Selfie with the gorgeous J’Dess

Selfie with the dapper IK Osakioduwa

Me as the fifth coach (in my mind) lol

The oh-so-stunning Stephanie Coker-Aderinokun

After the show, some of my travel companions and I went for dinner, drinks and a little clubbing. I really enjoy watching South Africans dance, their moves are so amazing, I feel like if I ever try some of them, I will break a leg or both lol. All in all, I really enjoyed my time in Johannesburg. 48 hours went by so fast, in no time, we had to head back to Lagos.

All in all, I really enjoyed my time in Johannesburg. The 48 hours went by so fast, in no time, we had to head back to Lagos.

I look forward to going back to South Africa, hopefully, Cape Town 

Lagos bound – Such a stunning view!

I am a Cosmetic Scientist and I’m extremely passionate about anything that involves cosmetics. I have a BSc in Cosmetic Science from London College of Fashion (University of the Arts), which is basically the chemistry behind cosmetics, which includes colour cosmetics (makeup), skin care, hair care and perfumery.I have worked as a product formulator in Procter and Gamble under Maxfactor, Cover Girl and Dolce & Gabbana Cosmetics; I have also worked as a beauty consultant with brands like Lancôme, YSL Beauty, Nars, Chanel Beauty, L’Occitane, Aesop, Eve Lom (to name a few).Instagram: @hilary.saysTwitter: @hilarysays__

4 Comments

  1. Tutu

    September 28, 2017 at 10:14 pm

    Thank Hillary, I enjoyed your review. 🙂

  2. Thembi

    September 29, 2017 at 8:17 am

    Thank you for that positive and wonderful experience. we also still have a long way to go as South Africans in terms of rebranding our African image. but happy you had a pleasant experience

  3. ladysunday

    September 29, 2017 at 11:48 am

    What a beautifully written review. Thank you for highlighting the beauty of our country indeed we still have a long way to go. We are a diverse and a colorful nation, glad you had a great time!

  4. Kelvin

    May 30, 2019 at 11:53 am

    Nice Review. Thumbs up ?

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