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Kudos for Gauteng based artists

Nie Cele

Dozens of theatre and television artist were recently honoured at a glitz and glamorous Ishashalazi Theatre Awards held at the Market Theatre, thanks to the Gauteng  Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation.

The audience was treated to a spirited music, poetry and a variety of dance genres unleashed by different artist including the most after sought hip hop artist ‘Big Zulu’ and many more.

The evening also attracted government officials and councilors who spoke about the plight and challenges faced by theatre and television practitioners.

MMC for Community Development in the City of Joburg, Margaret Arnolds told the packed audience that artists are the midwives that makes people to be joyful.

“Theatre sector is the only industry that is capable of disseminating important messages speedily in our society,” Arnolds argued.

 Gauteng MEC for Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation Mbali Hlophe told the audience arts was a difficult industry.

She also revealed that as government, they are aware that there is a lot that needs to be done to deal with challenges and bottlenecks faced by this industry.

“Our Premier told us to focus on development. The arts industry plays a pivotal role in our society. When the nation is in despair, It is the arts industry that keeps them alive.”

Hlophe also revealed that plans to bring sport and arts into schools are at an advanced stage.

“This initiative will help to elevate, develop and take the two activities to greater heights,” said Hlophe.


MEC Hlophe recognize “Mkabayi” at the Ishashalazi Theatre Awards

Gauteng MEC for Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation Mbali Hlophe honoured actress Thembi Nyandeni famously known as “Mkabayi” for her drama character on Isibaya with MEC’s Special Award. Nyandeni was recognized for her role of using artists that were showcased in Ishashalazi and Mtjeko dance festivals in her productions of Umoja.

The veteran actress who has performed so many roles in television dramas and series such as Zone 14, Generations, Jacobs Cross and Kwakhala Nyonini just to mention a few, was awarded at the Gauteng Ishashalazi Theatre Awards. The ceremony took place on Friday, 4 December 2020 at The Market Theatre in Newtown, Johannesburg.

A number of stars were awarded to best theatre, poetry and dance productions from the 2020 Ishashalazi Festival staged in February.

The two biggest winners of the night were Tainted, for Best Theatre Production who took home R35 000 and Amagents for Best Dance Production, who took home R20 000. The duo also qualified to represent Gauteng at the coming Isigcawu Festival in Durban.

The piece, Kwanele bagged 2 awards for Best Musical Rendition and Most Promising Theatre Production.

Individual recognition went to Mdengase Govuzela for Best Male Actor and Mbali Ntombela for Best Female Actor.

Life-Time Community Theatre Development were given to Malesela Lucky Khafela and Lekgodi.  Khafela is the founder of Tlhakanang Drama Group in 1990, which groomed many talented children throughout the country, while well-known veteran actor Lekgodi is also a Sports man, Musician, Composer, Songwriter, Dancer, Choreographer, Scriptwriter, Film Maker, Producer, Director and Educationist. 

“Congratulations to all of the winners, whose work continues to showcase Gauteng as the home of artistic excellence.

“The province is a scene of many events even during years of political struggles, which is enough content for creative. We want to see expansion of the arts within communities going beyond the level and category of development but into the mainstream.

For years creative industries have proved to be one of the main contributors in the economy of Gauteng and we want to see this also making an impact at grassroots socio economic conditions,” said Gauteng Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation MEC, Mbali Hlophe.

2020 Winners List:

Best Supporting Male Actor:

Teboho Serapelo                             Kwanele

Best Supporting Female Actor:

Tshepiso Fenyane                 Kings of Kings 

Best Actor Male:

Mdengase Govuzela                        Kwanele

Best Actor Female:                                                            

Mbali Ntombela                                      Tainted

Moment of Brilliance:

Dingaan Khanye                              Blah Blah Brothers Production                                                         

Best Music Composed in a production:

Generation of Stars                                Kwanele

Best Script:                          

Thabang Mboshane                         The Guy Code

Best Director:

Potsane Mohale                              Blah Blah Brothers Production                                   

Most Promising Dance Production:


Best Dance Production:


Most Promising Theatre Production:

Generation of Stars                         Kwanele           

Best Theatre Production:


Additional information supplied by the Gauteng Department of Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation

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