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Antjie Krog, Lauren Beukes, Sarah Lotz and Makhosazana Xaba Nominated for 2014 Mbokodo Awards

Alert! Antjie Krog, Lauren Beukes, Sarah Lotz and Makhosazana Xaba – authors who need no introduction – have been nominated for the 2014 Mbokodo Awards.

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The Mbokodo Awards are aimed at recognising southern African women in arts, celebrating the invaluable contribution made by the them in making sure South Africa operates as a cohesive society. This year the awards celebrate the country’s 20 years of democracy with the theme “20 Years of Free Artistic Expression”. The awards were started as an initiative of Carol Bouwer Productions, and supported by the Department of Arts and Culture.

The awards honour women in 20 different categories, including creative writing, poetry, promotion of language and story telling, dance, sculpture, arts ambassador, comedy and the promotion of arts in the media. Three finalists are named in each of these categories. The Mirriam Makeba Achievement award celebrates the legacy of Makeba, who through her art advanced the plight of the African people across the world. Only one nomination is made in this category.

Makhosazana Xaba, known affectionately as Khosi, has been nominated in the poetry category, which “celebrates published writers and performance poets utilising deep creative imagination and originality. It recognises poets who demonstrate commitment to promoting this art form in a variety of platforms.” Also nominated is Deela Khan (poet, writer and gatherer of folk tales, fables and histories) and Thuli Zuma (celebrated performance poet).

Mmatshilo Motsei, Lauren Beukes and Sarah Lotz have been nominated in the creative writing category, which “celebrates fiction and biography authors who demonstrate solid creativity, imagination and originality. It acknowledges writers who are committed to their craft and strive to promote the genre.”

Antjie Krog has been nominated in the category celebrating the promotion of language and storytelling. “This category highlights efforts used to promote and develop languages through artistic ways, often stretching the language to compel it to introduce new meanings. It rewards women who are giving exposure to under used languages.” Also nominated in this group is Aletta Motimelle (award-winning Sepedi poetry, drama, novel and short story writer) and Candy aka Sekedi Mokwena (Limpopo storyteller, advocating for Khelobedu to be the 12th official language of South Africa).

The winners will be announced next Friday during a black tie event at The Theatre on the Track, Kyalami.


Press release

Mbokodo Awards 2014 to celebrate 20 years of Free Artistic Expression

As Nelson Mandela once said, during the apartheid era, it was art, through drama, dance, literature, song, film, paintings which articulated the plight and democratic aspirations of the South African people.

Twenty years after democracy, art continues to articulate the aspirations of South Africans, giving expressions to their dreams and hopes. As South Africa celebrate two decades of democracy, it is only fitting that the theme for the third annual Mbokodo awards be, 20 years of free artistic expression.

This year’s awards will be held on October 24 and aims to celebrate and acknowledge women who have not only articulated the aspirations of the South African people but have also fortified their democracy by empowering communities and individuals through their art.

The awards, which are presented annually to recognise women in art, are an initiative by Carol Bouwer Productions and the Department of Arts and Culture. “Mbokodo aims to acknowledge the immense contribution that women, especially those working in art and culture, have made to rebuild a cohesive society in South Africa. For the task of transforming a wounded and divided nation falls not only to government and legislatures but to those who give the deepest expression to our hopes, fears and ideals,” said Carol Bouwer.

The awards ceremony will take place on October 24 at the Theatre on Track in Kyalami, Midrand. Performing at the awards ceremony will be some of the most respected names in the South African music industry, including Sibongile Khumalo, Judith Sephuma and Moneoa.

Khumalo, who is also affectionately known as Mzansi’s first lady of song was one of the main stars in the first ever African opera. She has been called the epitome of the new South Africa and made City press newspaper’s 100 world class South Africans list.

Sephuma, a jazz and afro-pop singer is also a legend in the South African music industry. Her first album, A cry, A smile, A dance was released in 2001 and it thrilled listeners locally and worldwide. The album reached platinum status and won her numerous awards including the SA music Awards for best jazz vocalist and Kora all Africa Music Awards for best female artist.

Moneoa, an RnB and Afro pop singer song writer is the new kid on the block but she has already she has already won the hearts of many South Africans with her soulful voice. At only 24, she has already worked with some of the biggest names in the music industry like Shugasmakx and Slikour.

The awards celebrate women in 18 different categories, including Women in Music, indigenous art, creative photography an poetry.

Nominees from different parts of the country are judged using a peer review mechanism. According to Bouwer the peer review judging method was chosen over public nomination processes to focus on quality of work by drawing on the opinion of diverse experts in the arts, culture and heritage sector.

The 20 Mbokodo Awards categories for 2014 are:

Women in Indigenous Art
Promotion of Language and Story Telling
Creative Writing
Fashion Design and Innovation
Creative Photography
Women in Jazz
Promotion of Arts in the Media
Arts Ambassador
Creative Design
Women in Film
Mirriam Makeba Achievement award

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