The announcement of the nominees for the nine categories in The fifth Annual Savanna Comics’ Choice Awards® causes huge buzz amongst comedians as the awards are so hard to win, and are bestowed by the comedians themselves on their peers.
Huddled over a lunch, entertained by some of the most exciting acts in South African comedy, attendees couldn’t wait to hear who had made the cut, and stand a chance to take home a coveted Waldo statuette at the main show on Saturday, 15 August.
This year sees the introduction of three new awards to celebrate the fifth birthday of the awards, which are: The Non-English Award – recognising the fastest-growing segment of South African comedy; The Best Friend of Comedy – to thank those who work behind the scenes for their contribution to local comedy; and the Flying Solo – for the best one-person show of the year.
The industry expressed excitement at the nominations that were announced – and that the voting results show that much thought goes into the nominations:
- The Savannna Newcomer Comic – Mo Mothebe; Glen Biderman-Pam; Yaseen Barnes; Farhan Esat; Noko Mosoete;
- The Intermediate Comic – Kagiso KG Mokgadi; Loyiso Madinga; Schalk Bezuidenhout; Jason Goliath; Alfred Adriaan;
- The Comics’ Pen – Nina Hastie; Camilo Saloojee; Christopher Steenkamp; Rob van Vuuren; Lazola Gola;
- The Best Friend of Comedy – Joe Parker; Des McKie; Goliath & Goliath; Gino Fernandez; Cape Town Comedy Club;
- The Flying Solo Comic – Celeste Ntuli; Marc Lottering; Alan Committie; Trevor Noah; Loyiso Gola;
- The Non-English Comic – Isaac Gampu; Mashabela Galane; Collen Chepi; Tshepo Sethosa; Smowkey Nyembe; and
- The Comic Of The Year – Tumi Morake; Loyiso Gola; Tats Nkonzo; Trevor Noah; Mashabela Galane.
The Savanna Audience Choice Comic
As always, the award allows the public a chance to have their say in who they think should take home a Waldo, and voting stays open until Wednesday, 5 August. If you want to win a VIP experience to the awards bash, vote now by SMSing your favourite comedian’s unique code to 45757.
- Khanyisa Bunu – unique code 3753;
- Thenjiwe Moseley – unique code 5874;
- Collen Chepi – unique code 2683;
- Darren Maule – unique code 2757; or
- Lukhanyiso Matshoba – unique code 3975.
You can vote 20 times (if you can’t choose just one favourite comedian)
The Lifetime Achiever
And of course, in what has become the traditional high-point of the Savanna Comics’ Choice Press Lunch, the recipient of the Lifetime Achiever was announced. Much loved and humble icon of the local comedy scene, Joe Mafela was glowing and eloquent as he acknowledged the industry he has served for decades. Mafela joins other local comedy legends, Mel Miller, Joe Parker, Barry Hilton and Mark Banks, who share this accolade.
In true Comics’ Choice Awards style, Mafela’s closest peers will ‘grill’ him at a special night at Parker’s Comedy Club on Wednesday, 15 July, a few weeks before the award ceremony. If you fancy seeing a panel of ‘grill masters’ honoring Mr. Mafela, book your tickets from the venue directly.
The main awards ceremony takes place at The Teatro at Montecasino on Saturday, 15 August. It’s going to be a hilarious variety show, comprising sketches, stand-up, impressionists and witty one-liners delivered by South Africa’s top comedians.
Limited tickets are available to the public, so book now through Computicket. All seats are R280 and include access to the official after party.
Of course, all the best events need the best partners to support them, and the comedy industry thanks Mzansi Magic, The Times and Kaya FM 95.9 for helping to build comedy history. Special thanks also goes to Splitbeam for coming onboard to ensure that the event’s production is of outstanding quality and the highest standard.