Fiësta Awards winners hailed for keeping the arts alive through the pandemic

Gideon Lombard. Picture: Nardus Engelbrecht

Gideon Lombard. Picture: Nardus Engelbrecht

Published Mar 10, 2023


The arts industry suffered a severe blow during the global Covid-19 pandemic. Despite the many challenges faced by the theatre fraternity around the world, including South Africa, they continued to create works to keep the arts alive.

The kykNET Fiësta Awards, which has been honouring excellent work presented at arts festivals around the country since 2011, celebrated theatre makers who created exceptional and inspiring works during the world’s most challenging time of the Covid-19 pandemic.

These local creatives were honoured at a private function at The Lookout in Cape Town, on Thursday, March 9.

There were awards in twelve categories, as well as lifetime achievement awards that were bestowed on two cultural icons: the writer, poet and activist Dr Diana Ferrus and the music maestro Prof. Hubert van der Spuy, for their contribution to the arts.

The hosts for the evening were “Suidooster” actress Jawaahier Petersen and the comedian and actor Melt Sieberhagen. Musical entertainment was by Schalk Joubert, Ramon Alexander and Babalwa Mentjies.

Fifteen writers wrote short monologues in some of South Africa’s official languages. These were performed at the Suidoosterfees and then filmed and shown on Litnet.

“The veterans and newcomers, well-known theatremakers and those who are entering the market, who all moved and entertained audiences this past year, are our heroes,” said Waldimar Pelser, M-Net Director: Premiums Channels.

“From this group, the nominees were chosen by the Fiësta panel after seeing all the debut work at arts festivals last year, remarkable work that showcases the spirit of our time.

“Congratulations to the winners and we hope that this award will mark a special moment in your career. But then again: the sought-after Fiësta award is the second prize as the first prize is always the appreciation of audiences,” added Pelser.

Below is the full list of winners.

Best performance in a lead role

Sandra Prinsloo for “Die Moeder” (US Woordfees)

Best performance in a supporting role

Carlo Daniels for “Ek, Anna van Wyk” (KKNK)

Best director

Christiaan Olwagen for “Die Moeder” (US Woordfees)

Best design

Gideon Lombard for the soundtrack and design of “Karatara” (KKNK, SOF)

Best new Afrikaans text, adaptation or translation

Adriaan Havenga for “Lewers in die Grys” (US Woordfees)

Best achievement in classical music

“Handel at Home” (US Woordfees, KKNK)

Best Achievement in visual arts

Pitika Ntuli for “Azibuyele Emasiswene / Terugkeer na die bron (Vrystaat)”

Best musical production

“Prima Donna” (KKNK)

Best contribution to a musical production

“The Ancient Voices (Nomapostile Nyiti and Lungiswa Plaatjies) for die Oerkluts Kwyt” (KKNK, SOF, Aardklop)

Best production

“Die Moeder” (US Woordfees)

Best upcoming artist

Adriaan Havenga: text for Iewers in die grys and acting and text for “Om Skoon Te Wees” (Woordfees en KKNK)

Blue Fiësta

“Stemme” (SOF)