Loyiso Gola 

The annual South African Savanna Comics’ Choice Awards 2017 rolled out the yellow carpet on Saturday night to welcome the stars at the Lyric Theatre in Gold Reef City.

The awards ceremony ensured the young as well as the more experienced players of the industry were welcomed in style and awarded for their work during a glitzy and glamorous evening.

The formal do, now in its seventh year, also celebrated comedians from other African countries.

Among the many winners was 23-year-old Ebenhaezer Dibakwane, who received this year’s Intermediate Award. Last year he was crowned Newcomer of the Year.

He said: “This award now forces me to work even harder. It is very scary and extremely exciting (at the same time). I am honoured and all this is reaffirming.”

Although the young joker feels that an award doesn’t necessarily secure his space in the industry, receiving it is a real energy booster nonetheless.

“All of us as comedians have to work consistently hard. We’ve seen the industry spit people out. And I always have to remind (ask) myself as a comedian what it is that I want to achieve,” he said.

Ebenhaezer Dibakwane

Through comedy, Ebenhaezer is appreciative of the exposure he has had and being able to fill other roles such as being a writer, actor and stage performer.

“Comedy is who I am. I have been a funny guy (all) my life. My heart is shared between comedy and drama, but if I were to describe myself... I am mostly a comedian. I am an aspiring everything, mostly a comedian.”

Skhumba Hlophe dominated the night, taking home two gongs, the Flying Solo Award and Savanna Comic of the Year.

Skhumba Hlophe

This year’s Lifetime Recipient Award went to veteran Cyril Green whose work spans more than 20 years.

Others who received honours on the night were:

* Loyiso Gola - Breakthrough Award

* Thabiso Mhlongo - Savanna Newcomer of the Year

* Salesman - Non-English Comic Award

* Mojak Lehoko - Comics Pen Award

* Goliath and Goliath - The Nando’s Best Friend of Comedy

* Basketmouth - Savanna Pan African Comic of the Year Award

* Elton Mduduzi Ntuli - Audience Choice Award

Sunday Independent