The press, registered comedians and other industry insiders gathered at iconic and upmarket Johannesburg bar Katzy’s yesterday in anticipation of the big news.
The announcement of the nominees for the 10 categories in The 6th Annual Savanna Comics’ Choice Awards (CCA) generates huge excitement amongst comedians as there are only 10 awards up for grabs, and receiving one means your professional peers have bestowed the honour upon you.
Delighted with being nominated four times, popular South African comedian, radio presenter and actor, Skhumba Hlophe shared his excitement with The Citizen newspaper. “I feel great about the nominations because I was voted for by my fellow comedians, not the public. I’m still a bit shocked. It’s big. No one has ever been nominated four times,” he said, adding that chances are he would lose all four of them.
Hlophe, who says he only realised his passion for making people laugh at the age of 15 while still at school, says Eugene Khoza helped him get on stage and share his jokes, assisting him to enter the comedy scene. “Its very hard being a comedian and having to stand in front of people you don’t know, audiences who expect you to make them laugh, but nine years later I’m still here.”
Hlophe has grown into a force to be reckoned with in the entertainment industry and says he is done shooting Thandeka’s Diary, which plays on SABC 1 on Wednesdays, and is going back to doing his one-man show. “I will be in East-London on July 28 and Port Elizabeth on July 29,” he explained.
In 2015 two new award categories were introduced (The Non-English Award and The Best Friend of Comedy Award). This year sees the return of The Breakthrough Award, now awarded to any act in any category that has made a significant breakthrough during the course of the past 12 months.
Attendees couldn’t wait to hear who had made the cut, and stood a chance to take home a coveted Waldo statuette at the main show on September. Master jeweller David Bolam crafts each Waldo by hand, and he was present to discuss his labour of love.
“Every year, we are amazed at the quality of the results. It is very evident that the vast majority of comics who vote put a great deal of thought into their voting,” says Savanna CCA project co-ordinator Jade Sellers.
The nominees are:
The Savanna Newcomer Comic:
Phil de Lange
Thabo Kgaphola aka Summary
The Intermediate Comic:
Elton Mduduzi Ntuli
The Comics’ Pen:
The Best Friend of Comedy:
Goliath & Goliath
David Kau/Blacks Only Brand
Cape Town Comedy Club
On Fire Comedy/Jess Knauf & Jem Atkins
The Flying Solo Comic:
The Non-English Comic:
Collen Chepi aka SALESMAN
The Edgars Comic Of The Year:
Boitumelo Osei-Tutu aka TUMI MORAKE
The Breakthrough Award:
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 26.