Yesterday, the press, registered comedians and other industry insiders gathered at stand-up institution, Parker’s Comedy Club at Montecasino in anticipation of the big news. The announcement of the nominees for the nine categories in The 5th Annual Savanna Comics’ Choice Awards caused a huge buzz amongst comedians as the awards are pretty hard to win, and are only ever bestowed by the comedians themselves on their peers.
Huddled over a lunch and entertained by some of the most exciting acts in SA comedy (including some well-known Capetonian comics), attendees couldn’t wait to hear who’d made the cut, and stand a chance to take home a coveted Waldo statuette at the main show on August 15th. This year sees the introduction of three new awards to celebrate the 5th birthday of the awards: 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 Savanna 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
The Comic Of The Year:
Tumi Morake, Loyiso Gola, Tats Nkonzo, Trevor Noah, Mashabela Galane
The Savanna Audience Choice Comic:
As always, this award allows the public a chance to have their say in who they think should take home a Waldo, and voting stays open until August 5th. If you want to win a VIP experience to the awards bash, vote now. SMS 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
Lukhanyiso Matshoba – unique code 3975
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 CCA style, Mafela’s closest peers will ‘grill’ him at a special night at Parker’s Comedy Club on July 15th, 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 August 15th. It’s going to be a hilarious variety show, comprising sketches, stand-up, impressionists and witty one-liners delivered by SA’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.