Come Dine With Me SA.

Every year, the South African Film & Television Awards (Saftas) have consistently come under heavy criticism for failing to fairly reflect and pay homage to the entertainment industry’s talent. And, despite numerous rants, Debashine Thangevelo found that it has now become a moot point and chose, instead, to look at the nomination line-up |for the drama, soap, news and actuality and international format categories and highlight the shows and talent in the running for Golden Horn honours in 2013.


THERE’S nothing like revelling in a gripping drama series. Thankfully, with DStv, I’m able to do just that.

But for those who have been religiously following SABC’s programming, especially its locally commissioned offerings, only a handful of shows stood out.

For Best TV Drama, unless you have watched Erfsondes, 90 Plein Street or 4Play: Sex Tips for Girls, you have lost out. In fact, you should probably rush out and grab the box sets. Oh wait, they probably haven’t hit the shelves yet.

Yes, I’m being melodramatically cynical, but can you honestly blame me when these are the benchmark offerings in the running?

Besides, the numerous past wins of Erfsondes confirms that it is an excellent series.

Meanwhile, Peter Heaney (Erfsondes), Amanda Lane (4 Play: Sex Tips for Girls) and Akin Omotoso and Vincent Moloi (Soul City) are competing for Best Director honours.

Of the talent in the Best Actor in a TV Drama Series, my vote would go to Richard Lukunku (Mshika Shika). Apologies to Emmanuel Castis (Erfsondes), who can always get a gig at the next Taste of Joburg, or Jacques Bessenger (Erfsondes) and Mothusi Magano (90 Plein Street).

In the Best Actress in a TV Drama Series category, that has to go to Xolile Tshabalala (4Play: Sex Tips for Girls).

With these shows dominating in every nomination, I’m going to spare myself the frustration of speculating and leave the judging to the so-called experts on the National Film and Video Foundation panel.


THE Wild might be ending soon, but it hasn’t kept M-Net’s local soap from making its presence felt in the line-up. After pulling out of the running last year, 7de Laan is back.

The tug of war for the Best Director accolades is split between 7de Laan, The Wild and Scandal.

Forget the veracity of the performances of Isidingo’s Motlatsi Mafatshe (Sechaba) and Vusi Kunene (Jefferson) – Kevin Smith has got the nod for Best Actor alongside Menzi Ngubane (Generations) and Clint Brink (Scandal). Excuse me while I yawn myself silly.

At least the female category has two strong candidates: Nambitha Mpumlwana (Generations) and Louise Barnes (Scandal). What Kim Engelbrecht, who is no longer in Isidingo, is doing in the running is beyond me.

Inkaba, John Kani’s magnum opus telenovela, has crept in with four nominations: Best Editor, Best Art Direction, Best DOP/ Cinematographer and Best TV soap.

I do find it terribly funny when the traditional melodrama on screen turns into a farce at the Saftas.


Of the three surprisingly strong contenders here – Crimes Uncovered SA, Robinson Regstreeks and The Edition – the former gets a big thumbs up. It is featured in M-Net’s primetime weekday slot and was the talk of social networks, attesting to its popularity and success.


LOCAL reality shows that stem from international hits have become the vogue in recent times. While Dance Your Butt Off continues to be out of sync with its American counterpart, M-Net’s blueprint of MasterChef SA certainly gained momentum in the later stages of the show. But my ultimate – and still untouchable – favourite would be Come Dine with Me SA. Aside from the tongue-in-cheek commentary of the razor-sharp narrator Dave Lamb, the melange of contradictory personalities, with skill versus amateur, proved a winning recipe with spicy intrigue. I hope the results reflect this fact.

And that’s my resigned take on what I think of this year’s nomination list. Can’t wait for my invite now. Not!