Local soap stars to get royal awards show

2013-04-08 11:52
Lesley Mofokeng
Durban - Generations star Winnie Modise is pregnant.

At least that's the sensational metaphor she used to describe the conception of the award ceremony she founded – the Royalty Soapie Awards.

They will honour soap stars and behind-the-scenes crew, and were officially launched in Durban on 4 April and are called "royalty" because soap stars get treated like royalty, so says Modise, "people want to bow down (to us)".

Some of the categories voted for by the public are best actor/actress, best villain, best couple and best newcomer; and industry experts will vote for best make-up, set design, post-production, storyline and writing team, among others.

Durban being the host city, and all, everything had to be to the glory of the Zulu Kingdom. So the lifetime achievement award will be known as the Shaka Zulu Award.

The picturesque Fairmont Zimbali Resort, one of my favourite places in the world, was the venue, although we spent most time inside listening to long speeches instead of admiring the natural beauty.

Long winded speeches

The problem with government-sponsored events is that every speaker has to say "protocol observed" to the point of annoyance and then politicians want to steal the thunder.

Nomvuso Shabalala, the deputy mayor of Ilembe Municipality within which Zimbali Resort falls, kept things bearably short.

Then came the Deputy Minister of Tourism, Tokozile Xasa, who was evidently starstruck by the galaxy of soap stars in the room, revealing her special affinity for Muvhango's Chief Azwindi, played by Gabriel Temudzani.

She wasted time with her long speech bragging about her trips to Russia, China and the UK.

Hopefully the actual awards will get rid of tedious speeches.

Modise stood out in a demure navy blue Balliza jacket and skirt suit. The look screamed "power".

She had to grin and bear it as speaker after speaker, fan after fan called her by her character name of Khethiwe.

SABC soaps for the win

Well represented were SABC soapies. Generations brought out heavyweights like Menzi Ngubane, who plays Sbusiso "Ngamla" Dhlomo; and Sophie Ndaba, who arrived late from doing some voice-over recordings in town and was en route to Cape Town for the jazz festival.

Over at Muvhango, Temudzani was accompanied by Sindi Dlathu and Simphiwe Ngema.

The creator of the show, Duma Ndlovu, also spoke about how Durban needed to unseat Cape Town as the international TV and film destination of choice "because Cape Town is not Brand SA".

Motlatsi Mafatshe gave a live performance he'd want to forget quickly.

The talented actor and singer from Isidingo was let down horribly by bad sound, but soldiered on to the end of his three-song set while the audience cringed and faked some smiles to spur him on.

Also from Isidingo was Kgomotso Christopher, who is a beautiful and classy woman.

She delivered a speech on behalf of soap stars - a great speaker she ain't.

Soap-star studded affair

Curiously absent were popular e.tv soapie stars of Rhythm City and Scandal! But they were featured in a promo video that was played in the auditorium.

I was pleased to meet stunning Nomzamo Mbatha, who plays Thandeka Zungu from Isibaya.

She's the only reason I watch the telenovella/soapie on Mzansi Magic.

Like a fan, I became tongue-tied and whimpered an awkward "hello" before hurriedly heading for the lunch buffet and loaded my plate with typical Durban fare: roti, chicken curry, salsa, pickled prawn and a spread of dessert.

Ayanda Nhlangothi proved there's life after the Lebo Mathosa musical that tanked at the State Theatre.

Modise also announced that her baby will be born on 2 November at the Durban International Convention Centre. And it promises to be a wall-to-wall soap-star affair.