What's Happening?

10.3.14

The Royalty Soapie Awards

Siyabonga Twala and Thembi Nyandeni, winners of Outstanding Lead Actor and Actress winners
Buhle Mbonambi 

The inaugural Royalty Soapie Awards finally took place on Saturday and they were mostly okay. The awards, prior to the event, were riddled with problems (they changed PR companies three times); the industry wasn't welcoming of them and there was this feeling that they just had to fail. 

Awards founder, Winnie Modise (Ntshaba)
Well, they didn't fail. In fact, I will go out and say they were a success. What wasn't a success was that many soap stars decided not to attend the awards. Especially Generations actors, whose co-star, Winnie Modise (or is it Ntshaba again?) created the awards. It was odd that some of the nominated actors from Generations, like Zenande Mfenyana and Menzi Ngubane, weren't at the awards. That Sophie Ndaba, who is a close friend of Winnie chose to skip the red carpet and was spotted chilling at Rivets, having a drink with businesswoman, Shauwn Mpisane. 

The cast and crew of Isibaya take a selfie after winning Outstanding Soapie
That Generations creator, Mfundi Vundla, was also not there. The same goes for Muvhango, and Isidingo. Few of their stars came to the awards. 7de Laan executives were present, while only two of their stars were present. Binnelanders had executives and one or two stars. Villa Rosa had no one, expect Sharleen Surtie-Richards who was going to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award. Isibaya creators and talent came in their numbers. 

Hosts; Michael Mol and Hlomla Dandala
Hlomla Dandala and Michael Mol were capable hosts-funny, professional and they did the job. Ian von Memerty brought the house down and Mafikizolo gave an OK-ish performance. Their Metro FM Awards performance was so much better. The less said about the dancers, the better. 

The Legendary Sharleen Surtie-Richards, was honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award. She was pictured here with her partner, Lee Schultz. 
So to sum up, the awards were a success and ran in the allocated two hours provided. Yes, the auditorium was mostly empty. There were no big A-List celebrities present, and if it wasn't for Isibaya winning most of the awards, it was going to be very sad if they hadn't won because half of the winners would not have been there. 
Isidingo's Tema Sebopedi and Motlatsi Mafatshe won Outstanding Soapie Couple
The big problem I had with these awards was that there was no hype or support from them. But that's not all. There was this feeling from some people in the industry that these awards just had to fail, which is sad. Why would these awards, which were mostly created to celebrate South Africa's soapie stars, be doomed to fail? The negativity has been rather bad and there really has not been a clear reason why they were being tarnished.
7de Laan's SimonĂ© Nortmann, who won Outstanding Newcomer
Frankly, they had a better nominees list than that of the SAFTAs. And the winners list clearly reflected what was happening in the soapies in SA. Isbaya is currently KING and it deserves all its success. I was happy with 7de Laan's SimonĂ© Nortmann winning Best Newcomer, as I was when Hennie Jacobs and Annelize van der Ryst won Supporting Actor and Actress. As much as 7de Laan can be lame, the actors are so earnest plus they act with so much gusto, it's refreshing. 

So congratulations to Winnie Ntshaba on the awards. They were mostly a success and no matter the problems faced during preparations. And congratulations to Isibaya for sweeping the boards. 

For the Full List of Winners, go here

PICTURES: Gcina Ndwalane and Rajesh Jantilal

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