Mafela’s win was one of the highlights of a South African-centered show at the fifth edition of the awards. Since its inception, the awards have gone from strength to strength.
Given the international focus on the South African comedy scene, thanks to guys such as Loyiso Gola and Trevor Noah, three new awards have been added to the line-up, including a non-UK award recognising the fastest-growing segment of South African comedy, the best friend of comedy award for those who work behind the scenes in local comedy, and the flying solo award aimed at the year’s best one-person show.
The press junket marked the announcement of the nominees in all eight categories. It wasn’t Mafela’s first lifetime achievement award – the icon of the SA TV and the comedy scene was lauded in 2005 at the Naledi Theatre Awards for his commitment to South African performance art.
In his acceptance speech, Mafela touched on the reason he won the award. “Back then, people got into this purely for the passion. These days there’s good money to be made,” he said. Mafela’s passion and commitment has certainly paid off.
Nominations for the eight categories in the Savanna Comics’ Choice Awards are made by comedians – giving them the chance to honour their peers. The exception is the audience choice award, in which the public get to have their say.
The winners will be announced on August 15 at a yellow carpet event at The Teatro at Montecasino. The public have until August 5 make their nominations.