Don Mlangeni-Nawa. Picture: Supplied

This column is about putting the spotlight on television personalities, in particular screen performers who are the lifeblood of our beloved drama series, soapies and telenovelas.

The focus is primarily on highlighting their artistic journeys while celebrating their achievements.

It’s essentially about their craft and the productions that have brought them public recognition – and indeed celebrity status.

Following the announcement of the winners at the Royalty Soapie Awards last week, one can proudly argue that this column has its finger on the pulse as far as the trailblazers in the local television industry are concerned.

A number of the winners at the annual event were the subject of this column recently. They include Don Mlangeni Nawa, a screen veteran who has been one of the most recognisable faces on the small box for at least three decades.

Nawa was honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award for his stellar roles in a number of productions, notably as Zebedee Matabane on Isidingo. He was part of the original cast when the longrunning SABC3 soapie was launched in 1998. He is on The Throne, a so-so telenovela on Mzansi Magic.

Another recipient who was recently featured in this column is Motlatsi Mafatshe. He received an award in the outstanding lead actor category for his role as Sechaba Moloi in Isidingo.

Mafatshe is a deserving winner.

He strikes the viewer as a natural in front of the camera, and he has recently ventured behind it as a director as well.

The outstanding lead actress award went to Thembi Nyandeni for her role as the fearless Mkabayi in Isibaya. She’s an accomplished actor as well as a consummate performer in the world of dance and choreography.

Nyandeni has also trained and mentored a generation of performers.

For these reasons she should have been bestowed with a Lifetime Achievement Award. Lesego Marakalla, walked away with the outstanding female villain
award for her role as the troublesome Rachel Kunutu in Skeem Saam.

The awards ceremony will be broadcast across the continent on BET Africa (DSTV channel 129) on Thursday, December 6, at 8pm, with a repeat on Sunday at 4pm.