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Afrikaans performing arts celebrated at 14th kykNET Fiesta Awards



Since 2011, the kykNET Fiesta Awards have been honouring outstanding achievements in the performing arts seen in the previous year at the six main Afrikaans arts festivals.

The crème da la crème of Afrikaans performing artists gathered at The Lookout in Cape Town on Thursday evening to celebrate the exceptional performances they, and their fellow artists, accomplished in 2023.

As guests mingled on the terrace outside with breathtaking views of the ocean, Table Bay, Lions Head and Table Mountain, sipping on world class Simonsvlei wines and MCC, enjoying decadent hors d’oeuvres, back stage the kykNET team was getting ready to honour the big winners of the evening for their outstanding work.

The arts went through some difficult times with the Covid-19 pandemic, but 2023 was a dream year for the arts.

All six festivals – Innibos, KKNK, Momentum Investments Aardklop, Suidoosterfees, Vrystaat Kunstefees and the Toyota SU Woordfees – offered a rich variety of quality work. Also, Klein Karoo Klassique, which focuses on classical music, once again showed that there is no end to talent and resourcefulness in South Africa.

This year’s Fiesta Awards were a little more special as Tobie Cronjé and Dr Ismail Mahomed were honoured as legends for their lifelong contributions to the arts. Speaking to The Citizen after the awards, Cronjé said it feels strange to be recognized as a legend. “I don’t feel like a legend. I feel I didn’t really do anything to deserver it, I just did my job.”

Speaking to The Citizen last month when news of him being honoured as a legend at the kykNET Fiestas broke, Dr Ismal said that he accepts this honour with great humility and an understanding that the successes he has had are testimony to the many inspirations and support he received from stakeholders in South Africa’s very vibrant and dynamic creative economy.

ALSO READ: Transforming the arts sector: Dr Ismail Mahomed breaking stereotypes

14th KYKnet Fiesta Award winners

Vinette Ebrahim and Mandri Sutherland were the MCs for the evening keeping guests giggling and entertained with their clever, funny word play throughout the awards ceremony. Dean John Smith, David Kramer, Amanda Strydom, Cornelia Faasen, Wicus Pretorius, Reynard Slabbert and Laetitia Pople were guest presenters.

Here is the complete list of winners:

  • Best Festival Production – Droomkraan-kronieke (KKNK)
  • Best Actor – Frank Opperman – Reünie (Innibos)
  • Best Actress – Lee-Ann van Rooi – The Woman Who Fed the Dogs (Suidoosterfees)
  • Best Supporting Actor – Eben Genis – Mirakel (KKNK)
  • Best Supporting Actress – Antoinette Kellermann – Goed wat wag om te gebeur (Momentum Beleggings Aardklop)
  • Best Direction – Neil Coppen, Craig Leo en Tiffany Saterdaght – Droomkraan-kronieke (KKNK)
  • Best Ensemble – Droomkraan-kronieke (KKNK)
  • Best New Afrikaans Text, Adaptation or Translation – Lynthia Julius & Veronique Jepthas – My kroon se krank (KKNK)
  • Best Theatre Design  – Wolf Britz – Tuis, ek’s liefie (Toyota SU Woordfees)
  • Best Original Music – Mbuso Ndlovu – Echoes of Heritage (Vrystaat Kunstefees)
  • Best Achievement in Visual Arts – Tafadzwa Tega – Chisi Hachieri Musi Wacharimwa: A Seed Will Take Its Time to Grow (Momentum Investments Aardklop)
  • Best Achievement in Classical Music – Erik Dippenaar and Ralitza Macheva – Variations (Klein Karoo Klassique)
  • Best Music-Driven Production: Open-Air or Podium – Echoes of Heritage – University of Johannesburg Choir (Vrystaat Kunstefees)
  • Best Music-Driven Production: Theatre – David Kramer – Ver in die wêreld Kittie (KKNK)
  • Best Children or Educational Theatre – Braam en die engel (Momentum Investments Aardklop)
  • Best Emerging Artist – Kerscha Titus – Jantjies and the Pearls (KKNK)

Congratulating the winners of the evening, Waldimar Pelser, M-Net Director of Premium Channels said: “These wizards of theatre, music and the visual arts mesmerise us and captivate us with glimpses into lives and worlds removed from our own. When we step away, we are no longer the same people. We are transformed, even if only on a small scale. We look at ourselves and maybe even each other a bit differently. We forget our worries for a while and remember what really matters.”

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