Yaya Mavundla, Lebo M win big at 2023 Feather Awards

Yaya Mavundla shares the Best-styled Individual award with PonaHalo. Picture: Thapelo Kekana.

Yaya Mavundla shares the Best-styled Individual award with PonaHalo. Picture: Thapelo Kekana.

Published Nov 10, 2023


It was a night of glitz and glamour at the 15th Feather Awards and, as we’ve come to expect, it featured exquisite fashion and live performances.

Held at The Market Theatre, luminaries from the world of entertainment and fashion, were recognised and honoured for their significant contributions in promoting tolerance, inclusivity and diversity in the LGBTQIA+ community over the past year.

Sisters Refilwe and Bontle Modiselle, along with Andiswa P Gebashe, did a sterling job hosting the awards.

Transgender activist Yaya Mavundla and model PonaHalo Mojapelo took home a joint award for Best-styled Individual.

"For me winning a Feather Award is like holding pure gold with my own hands, it is so special and it is so important for a woman like me.

“I am grateful. I hope this will be a great example to many transgender people to know that they are worthy, beautiful, deserving and yes they can do it too,” said Mavundla.

Yaya Mavundla shares the Best-styled Individual award with PonaHalo. Picture: Thapelo Kekana.

Lebo M bagged the Drama Queen prize while Hunk of the Year went to “Adulting” actor, Thembinkosi Mthembu, and “The Real Housewives of Johannesburg” breakout star, Mpumi Mophatlane aka Mrs Mop, fittingly took home the Diva Extraordinaire of the Year award.

Miss South Africa finalist Homba Mazaleni scooped the Hot Chick of the Year award from DJ Uncle Waffles and Mordecai and “What Am I To Do” hitmaker Tamara Dey bagged the Fag Hag of the Year award.

The Simon Nkoli Award went to talented and award-winning South African musician Thandiswa Mazwai.

Thami Kotlolo, co-founder of the Feather Awards, said this year’s focus was to celebrate the diversity, creativity, and resilience of all communities during these challenging times.

“As a nation, we are going through a lot right now. And as a community we always focus on the positive, inspiring not just each other but others with our boldness and braveness and colourful outlook on life.

“Fifteen years in, tonight was truly overwhelming, with huge support from every corner. Congratulations to all our wonderful Feather Awards XV winners!

We continue to celebrate you with these awards! See you next year.”

Full list of Feather Awards winners:

Best Styled Individual

PonaHalo and Yaya Mavundla

Hunk of the Year

Thembinkosi Mthembu

Diva Extraordinaire of the Year

Mrs Mops

Sports Personality of the Year

Andile Dlamini

Role Model of the Year

Tony Kruger

Cutest Couple

Buhlebendalo and Botshelo

Hot Chick of the Year

Homba Mazaleni

Media Award of the Year

YFM’s “The Lunch League” and the “Sowetan’s” “S Mag”

Fag Hag of the Year

Tamara Dey

Designer of the Year

Otiz Seflo

Musician of the Year

Bongezizwe Mabandla

Socialite (Seen at every opening of an envelope or an erection of a stop sign)


Drama Queen

Lebo M

Social Media Personality of the Year

Sabelo The Creator

Best LGBTIQ+ Initiative: Private Sector


Best LGBTIQ+ Youth Movement

Phuti Lekoloane Foundation

Best Rainbow Parenting

Zodwa Rannyadi and Nandipha Jovuka and Abraham Sebidi

African Feather of the Year

Samuel Matsikure