Isibaya's Siyabonga Twala and Thembi Nyandeni won outstanding lead actor and actress awards at the first Royalty Soapie Awards. Isibaya swept the boards, picking up 10 awards in 18 nomination categories. Photo: GCINA NDWALANE

Durban - Isibaya cleaned up at the first Royalty Soapie Awards held at Durban’s Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre on Saturday night.

The Mzansi Magic telenovela, which has taken South Africa by storm, won 10 of the 18 awards it was nominated for, including Outstanding Lead Actor, Outstanding Lead Actress and Outstanding Soapie.

Isibaya stars Thembi Nyandeni and Siyabonga Twala posed for pictures, unaware they had won the best lead actor and actress categories.

The soapie beat stiff competition from favourites, including Generations, Isidingo, Muvhango and Binnelanders. The soaps Scandal and Rhythm City pulled out of the awards last year.

The awards, founded by Generations actress Winnie Modise, are a celebration of the soapie genre, the most popular medium of storytelling in South Africa.

Modise wore a gown from Biji Couture. She said she was praying the awards would be a success. She was accompanied by Generations co-stars Thato Molamu, Xoli Zondi, Anga Makhubalo and Roelien van der Merwe.

Shaleen Surtie Richards received the Lifetime Achievement Award for her 30-year contribution to the industry and her memorable roles in soapies such as Egoli, Generations and 7de Laan. She wore a magenta ballgown, and a bejewelled neckpiece. She was accompanied by her boyfriend, Lee Schultz.

Top Billing’s Michael Mol shared hosting duties with Hlomla Dandala, who was recently seen on SABC 1’s political thriller End Game.

The Link’s Lerato Kganyago looked stunning doing red carpet duty in a turquoise David Tlale.

Mayor James Nxumalo and Speaker Logie Naidoo attended, but most of the province’s political leaders were at President Jacob Zuma’s address in Zululand. Economic Development and Tourism MEC Mike Mabuyakhulu arrived as the awards began.

The awards were sponsored by the KZN departments of sport and culture and economic development and tourism, the national department of arts and culture and eThekwini Municipality.

Sunday Tribune