Style that still lets the bride shine...
The Royalty Soapie Awards, founded by Generations’ Winnie Modise, have piqued curiosity and fielded criticism ahead of their debut in March. Debashine Thangevelo looks at the nominations; e.tv and Zabalaza and iNkaba pulling out…
ZANE Meas (7de Laan’s Neville Meintjies) announced his desire to pay homage to the soap industry with an award ceremony akin to the Daytime Emmys/Golden Globe Awards some time back.
But, Winnie Modise (Khethiwe Buthelezi in Generations), who shared the same vision, managed to pull it off by partnering with the departments of Economic Development and Tourism and Arts and Culture and the City of Durban.
Hype over her feat aside, there has also been some mudslinging regarding Modise being the founder of the The Royalty Soapie Awards (RSAs), which wasn’t helped by e.tv pulling Scandal and Rhythm City from the running and Mzansi Magic’s Zabalaza and iNkaba not participating.
Monde Twala, Group Head of e.tv Channels Division, issued a press release saying: “e.tv has declined to participate in this year’s Royalty Soapie Awards. The channel did not have sufficient information about the awards, its judging processes and overall objective. We have made plans to meet with the organisers later this year to discuss the prospects of e.tv participating next year. It’s important to note that broadcasters make huge investment on local content and we need to protect this investment and brand equity.
“We will reconsider our position or any association as soon as we are convinced the awards are sustainable and credible.”
Meanwhile, Burgert Muller, who is a series producer at Urban Brew Studios, revealed they opted not to participate because they were approached to submit their entries (for iNkaba and Zabalaza) a day before the entries closed.
Although the RSAs offer no threat to South Africa’s dominant awards ceremonies – the South African Film and Television Awards and the YOU Spectacular awards – the pervading issues don’t bode well for its reception, especially after being postponed from Saturday to March 8.
But, as they say in showbiz, the show must go on and so it is, with the nominations being released last Wednesday. Also, there is a lot of hype around Michael Mol and Hlomla Dandala co-hosting the glamorous ceremony.
In the meantime, below are my favourite nominees for the RSAs.
Outstanding Lead Actor: Siyabonga Twala – for Mzansi Magic’s Isibaya and SABC2’s Muvhango. Besides being a respected actor, his versatility and strong performance, especially in his short-lived role as Mpiyakhe Zungu in Isibaya, make him a strong contender. Heck, even Twitter was flooded with comments from outraged fans when his character was killed off. And if he doesn’t bag any award for that, it would be because he was pipped by formidable rival Shona Ferguson as Itumeleng in M-Net’s The Wild.
Outstanding Lead Actress: It’s a tough call. I’d say it is a toss-up between Thembi Nyandeni (Mkabayi Zungu in Isibaya) and Linda Sokhulu (Nikiwe Sibeko in Isidingo). Both actresses play their resilient characters with conviction.
Outstanding Supporting Actor: Talent isn’t difficult to spot. Class Act winner S’dumo Mtshali has been currying favour with his performances to date. And his lead role as S’bu Ndlovu in the Romeo and Juliet-esque telenovela Isibaya, has seen his acting raised to another level. I suspect this fresh-faced actor is going to go quite far.
Outstanding Supporting Actress: While I love the innocence and sheer likeability of Nomzamo Mbatha’s character Thandeka Zungu in Isibabya, it is impossible to ignore Kgomotso Christopher’s portrayal of Katlego Sibeko, a gold-digging über-bitch and Isidingo’s new cougar. She plays her part with such panache. On the one hand she is this sophisticated woman and on the flip side she reveals, beneath all that chic, a cunning that doesn’t bode well for those who dare toy with her.
Outstanding Male Villain: The clash between old-school and new-school villains is going to make this one a tough call. Especially with South Africa’s resident Machiavelli, Barker Haines, played by Robert Whitehead, in the running for SABC3’s Isidingo, with Aubrey Poo as Lebata in The Wild. Both are renowned for playing their roles with menace and cunning.
Outstanding Female Villain: Khabonina Qubeka’s return to the soap realm couldn’t have been better received. She was in her cunning element as Maxine in The Wild. She took deranged to new levels.
Outstanding Couple: Young love rules for me – mostly because it is so endearing. And Isibaya’s S’bu Ndlovu and Nomzamo Mbatha share such amazing chemistry that viewers get completely lost in their forbidden love story. And they are such promising actors.
Outstanding Newcomer: Blonde and beautiful, Hayley Owen, as Angie, created such a buzz when she joined The Wild. And she proved herself worthy of the attention as her story arcs put her on a roller-coaster of emotions and she did justice to every one of them.
Outstanding Soapie: Puzzled by the absence of SABC2’s 7de Laan, which bags the audience vote for Best Soapie every year, this is one category I can’t call. Binneland, Generations, Isibaya, Isidingo and The Wild are all compelling with their melodramatic story arcs.
• For more info and the full list of Technical and Creative categories: www.royaltysa.com