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Mam Dorothy Masuku reminding us of her all-time hits | Picture by: Lizwe Yelane

On Friday 11 September 2015 the “Outstanding Women in the Arts and Culture Industry” was held at the Johannesburg City Hall on 11 September 2015.

At the gala event cultural icons Thandi Klaasen, Yvonne Chaka and Marianne Fassler were honoured. Carol Bouwer, in partnership with the Department of Arts and Culture, hosted the event. Part of the highlights of the evening were performances by Dorothy Masuka, Vicky Sampson, Hlengiwe Lushaba, Swazi Dlamini and Sibongile Mngoma. Singer KB launched her brand new single “Find a Way” - much to the delight of those present.

The awards celebrate womens’ contribution to the ongoing development of the arts and culture in South Africa, Jazz artist Thandi Klaasen and, posthumously, cultural entrepreneur Dr Thembeka Nkamba van Wyk were honoured with the 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award. Singer Yvonne Chaka Chaka and fashion designer Marianne Fassler were both honoured as Mbokodo Arts Ambassadors at the function.

Carol Bouwer ang First Lady Dr Bongi Ngema Zuma Presenting a lifetime achievement award to Mam Thandi Klaasen | Picture by: Lizwe Yelane“The Mbokodo Awards emphasise and enhance the prestige of women in the arts,” says Bouwer. “We are delighted that these awards have such a national, inclusive and nation-building footprint. All genres of arts and culture add to the fabric we are weaving as a nation.” The award’s wide-ranging categories celebrated the contribution of women in a variety of sectors.

“It is thrilling to see the tenacity and passion with which our nominees realise their artistic vision,” says Prof Pitika Ntuli, convener of the judging panel. “As well as recognizing their achievements, we hope that the Mbokodo Awards will inspire many other women to make their mark in the fields of arts and culture in South Africa.”

The Mbokodo Awards, an initiative of Carol Bouwer Productions, have been in the making for many years and were successfully launched in 2012.

Ever Funny Tumi Morake was the Master of Ceremonies, Other awards presenters of the night were, Kgomotso Christopher of Isidingo, Shado Twala of SA’s Got Talent, Refilwe Mpakanyane of Metro FM, and Leane Manas of Morning Live, as well as first Lady of the Republic Dr Bongi Ngema-Zuma

Category winners of the Mbokodo Awards 2015 were:

1] Women in indigenous art and craft:

     Helen Sebidi

2] Two winners in the Promotion of language and storytelling:

     Nise Malange, poet and founder of Stories Can Heal

     Nomsa Mdlalose, Member and managing director of Kwasukela Storytelling Academy

3] Creative writing:

     Lauren Beukes

4] Poetry:

     Mbali Vilakazi, poet and radio host

5] Creative photography:

     Lindeka Qampi

6] Visual arts:

     Berni Searle

7] Dance:

     Dada Masilo, dancer choreographer

8] Opera:

     Goitsemang Lehobye,

9] Theatre:

     Maralin Vanrenen, actress, writer and director,

10] Women in jazz:

       Thandi Ntuli, pianist, composer and arranger

11] Music:

       Zolani Mahola, co-founder and lead singer of Freshlyground,

12] Architecture:

       Nadia Tromp, architect and managing director of Ntsika Architects

13] Creative design:

       Thandiwe Tshabalala, illustrator and graphic designer.

14] Women in film:

       Ryley Grunenwald, cinematographer, director and producer.

15] Comedy:

       Irit Noble

16] Fashion:

       Hangwani Nengovhela. Fashion Designer

17] Promoting arts in the media:

        Brenda Sisane, broadcaster in radio and television and founder of Spin Production.

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