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What do the Guptas, the Gauteng premier, Da Les, Boity Thulo, Tall Ass Mo and Mamphela Ramphele have in common? They are all nominees for the fifth annual Feather Awards.
The Feathers are the gay-friendly awards where they, according to co-founder Thami Dish, “give a pat on the back from the gay and lesbian communities to say thank you for inspiring sexual minorities”.
“The recipients do not need to be gay, but if someone is doing enough to inspire gays and lesbians then why not put them into categories?” he continued.
The nominees were announced at a brunch held on Tuesday afternoon in Joburg.
The Guptas are nominated under Drama Queen of the Year. President Jacob Zuma’s buddies are up against Mandla Mandela and Vuyo Mbuli’s widow, Savita. The qualification for the Drama Queen category is: “these are personalities we read about every Sunday over breakfast. Their lives revolve around a lot of dramatic behaviour or situations.
“We will be extending an invitation to the entire Gupta family,” said Dish. “They can land their helicopter on our pink carpet any time!”
The Hunk of the Year category includes man of the moment, Maps Maponya, up against Anga Makhubela and Pallance Dladla, while the Hot Chick of the Year nominees are Nomzamo Mbatha, Boity Thulo and Lalla Hirayama.
The Diva Extraordinaire of the Year nominees are Gauteng premier, Nomvula Mokonyane, who is up against David Tlale and AgangSA’s Mamphela Ramphele.
While Tlale’s nomination goes without saying, Dish explained the reasons for the other two: “Mamphela is a diva in the true light. She is not going to stand for bull. Nomvula is popularly known as Mama Action. A lot of those actions are seen to be quite diva-ish. Just look at her gestures and how she walks. She also fits what a gay image of a diva should be. She has a big image, big hair and a very dramatic way of speaking.”
Tamara Dey, Akhumzi Jezile and Pearl Thusi are nominated under Fag Hag of the Year. The qualification in this category is: “Need we say more? They never leave their home without their favourite accessory – a gay friend.”
The Socialite of the Year nominees are Bujy Bikwa, Samkelo Ndlovu and former Big Brother contestant, Lerato Sengadi.
In the category Sports Personality of the Year, the nominees are S’manga Khumalo, Lucas Sithole and the delicious Itumeleng Khune.
The very gay-friendly and glamorous Mafikizolo are nominated in the Best Musician category with Khuli Chana and Mi Casa.
“The nice thing about The Feathers is that you are seeing everyone from sports people to actors to designers. Plus, we’re fun and we work in this space,” said Dish.
“The Feathers finds itself in the entertainment industry because it’s one of the only industries not bothered by issues of sexuality.”
A new and more serious category was introduced this year – the Media Award of the Year.
Explained Dish: “For this category we look at what has been covered in the media. This included gay storylines in soaps and who is reporting the truth or the positive side. Are we only ever going to highlight cross-dressers? We have nominated those who have engaged in real discussions around issues.”
The nominees are SABC1’s Intersexions, After 9 and Mambaonline.com.
In the Cutest Couple category, Cameron and Thoba Sithole-Modisane, the first gay Zulu couple to be married traditionally, are nominated against Mome and Tall Ass Mo and Minnie Dlamini and her Bafana captain, Khune.
While The Feathers were initially financed by TV producer and party planner, Baby Joe, they have grown in stature and the media frenzy and star attraction they garner on the night is only beaten by the MTN South African Music Awards and The Metro FM Awards.
This year The Feathers have sponsorship from Chevrolet and the Gauteng Department of Arts, Culture, Sports and Recreation.
• The Feathers, November 14 at Theatre on Track. Televised a week later on SABC1.