Tobie Cronjé and Dr Ismail Mahomed to be honoured at 14th kykNET Fiësta Awards

Tobie Cronjé. Picture: Instagram

Tobie Cronjé. Picture: Instagram

Published Feb 22, 2024


Legendary Afrikaans actor Tobie Cronjé and theatre icon Dr Ismail Mahomed are being recognised for their outstanding contribution in the arts.

The kykNET Fiësta Awards team recently announced that the two industry veterans will receive this year’s Lifetime Achievement award at the 14th annual edition.

The kykNET Fiëstas honours exceptional work presented at arts festivals like Suidoosterfees, KKNK, Innibos, Vrystaat Kunstefees, Toyota US Woordfees and Momentum Beleggings Aardklop.

Cronjé, who is now 76-years-old, is well-known for his role in Afrikaans TV shows like the ever-popular “Binnelanders” and films like “Mike & Mavis” and “Spook van Uniondale”.

He has starred in 45 films and approximately 160 stage productions.

“Receiving this Fiësta lifetime achievement award is a great honour,” said Cronjé.

He added that most of his career highlights came from moments that had challenged him.

“There have been so many highlights in my career, and they usually happen when you are challenged to move out of your comfort zone. Like with the musical, ‘I Love My Wife’, where I had to quickly learn to sing, dance and do an American accent, or in movies like ‘Hans steek die Rubicon oor’, ‘Tjommies’ and ‘Lafras Verwey’.”

He said watching people enjoy his work was the greatest joy.

“I have done a great number of comedies and farces, and when you’re not on stage, you can watch the audience while waiting in the wings.

“Seeing people throw their arms in the air and fall off their chairs with laughter is a great joy. All pains, ailments, pretences and worries disappear when people laugh like that,” he added.

Meanwhile, multi-award winning theatre icon and playwright Mahomed, who has been involved in the arts for four decades, has left deep footprints on the South African arts landscape.

Dr Ismail Mahomed, director of the Centre for Creative Arts at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. Picture: Instagram

Mahomed's work has been performed both locally and internationally.

Currently, he is the director of the Centre for Creative Arts at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, and also serves on the boards of the KKNK, Momentum Beleggings Aardklop and six others festivals at the UKZN.

“In the past 40 years in the arts, I have had the wonderful opportunity to work with artists across the broad spectrum of South Africa’s cultural diversity.

“I see every day how the arts play a crucial role in nation-building. We are blessed as a country with so many stories and artists who have the incredible power to tell these stories through creativity and excellence. They are my inspiration,” said Mahomed.

Of the award, he said, “I accept it with deep gratitude for the artists, partners and funders who played such a crucial role in my career.

“It recognises the work I have done for the promotion of artists working in Afrikaans and my contribution to the boards of the KKNK and Aardklop.

“This Fiësta Award on my shelf will constantly remind me that my professional career in the arts began when I wrote plays in Afrikaans.”

The Fiësta Awards ceremony is set to take place on Thursday, March 7, at The Lookout at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town.

Vying for other category wins are actors like Dawid Minnaar, Frank Opperman, Dean Balie, Eldon van der Merwe, Amalia Uys, Antoinette Kellermann, Lee-Ann van Rooi and Shimmy Isaacs.