Johannesburg – There were highs, tear-jerking moments and, of course, a few surprises (and the accompanying silent disappointments) at Saturday night’s 11th South African Film and Television Awards ceremony, which was televised live on SABC2.
The glitzy ceremony was co-hosted by the charismatic Katlego Maboe and drop-dead gorgeous Thando Thabethe, who had several wardrobe changes along with Maboe.
Every gown was as breathtaking as the last, even the gorgeous black number which saw her “shedding feathers on stage”.
Those who were unable to attend but who bagged a Golden Horn were Tina Jaxa, who plays a very street-smart May Gumede in Gold Diggers, winning Best Actress TV Soap/ Telenovela; Linda Sibezo, who won Best Supporting Actress in TV Soap/ Telenovela for Greed and Desire; James Borthwick for Best Actor TV Comedy (Hotel) as well as Sylvaine Strike, who walked away with the honours for Best Supporting Actress – TV Comedy (Those Who Can’t).
SABC3’s High Rollers impressed in the soap/telenovela categories, despite SABC3 pulling the plug on the show.
The soapie walked away with Golden Horns for Best Achievement in Directing – TV Soap/Telenovela (Joshua Rous, Alex Yazbek, Quentin Krog, Jozua Malherbe, Darryl Evan Fuchs and Zimkhitha Maseko) while Antony Coleman took Best Actor – TV Soap/ Telenovela for his role as the ruthless David King.
His acceptance speech left the crowd in stitches as he took a dig at former SABC COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng.
Meanwhile, the Best TV Soap/ Telenovela accolade went to The Road.
Best Supporting Actor in the same category went to Mandla Gaduka. Interestingly, this is Gaduka’s second win. Last year, he won a Golden Horn for Best Actor in a Comedy for Gauteng Maboneng.
He was unable to contain his excitement as he made his way onto stage. When he thanked all the relevant people, he made a point of sneaking in a snide comment about being axed from Generations.
Best TV Drama went to Heist, which also bagged accolades for Best Achievement in Directing – TV Drama. In Rolie Nikiwe’s speech, he said: “To the cast and crew, if you touched it you blessed it.”
The audience went hysterical when Warren Masemola bagged the Best Supporting Actor – TV Drama for Heist. They gave him a standing ovation.
The inimitable Jerry Mofokeng, who is also one of the three Safta judging chairs, walked away with the Best Actor – TV Drama honours for Heist.
And his speech matched his gravitas as an actor.
Tiffany Barbuzano, who also presented an award, won Best Actress – TV Drama for her role in the comedy Sober Companion while Jana Cilliers took Best Supporting Actress – TV Drama honours for Die Boeklub.
The Puppet Nation ZANEWS! crew were euphoric over their wins for comedy.
They took accolades for Best TV Comedy and Best Achievement in Directing – TV Comedy (Alex Fynn and Johann Vermaak). Meanwhile, Chantal Herman (Those Who Can’t) bagged a Golden Horn for Best Actress – TV Comedy and Reabetswe Rangaka (The Mayor) bagged the Best Supporting Actor award for the same category.
While Sink won Best Feature Film and Best Actress (Shoki Mokgapa) honours, Noem My Skollie took Best Actor – Feature Film (Dann Jaques Mouton) and Best Supporting Actor (Abdurahgmaan Adams) honours too.
Adams was memorable for his dance on the way to accept his award. Then he broke into song with the intro to CeCe Peniston’s Finally.
By the way, Hlubi Mboya won Best Supporting Actress for Dora’s Peace.
She decided to share the honours with fellow nominee Renate Sturrman while delivering an empowering speech on women and their footprints in film and TV.
And Best Talk Show went to Real Talk With Anele.
The late Junaid Ahmed, a producer on the home-grown movie Keeping up with the Kandasamys, which is currently doing great business at the box office, received a posthumous Safta Lifetime Achiever Special Recognition Award.
One of the sweetest moments was when Lydia Mokgokoloshi was helped onto the stage for the Safta Lifetime Achiever Special Recognition Award.
Her speech was both hilarious and cute.
She said: “You loved me so much. I can’t walk anywhere… (they all want my photo). I feel so honoured to be called a granny and to be a granny. Although I can be cruel and I can injure you with a pin (talking about her character on Skeem Saam). Now they just give me a crochet needle. I honour those writing the scripts, those dressing us and the owners of production.”
And the multi-talented Thapelo Mokoena walked away with the Young Achiever Award.
Once the end credits rolled as the awards ceremony concluded its celebration of the TV and film industry, everyone made a dash for the after party.