THE ANNUAL SOUTH AFRICAN SAVANNA COMICS’ CHOICE AWARDS® CELEBRATES EIGHT YEARS, 12 AWARD WINNERS AND THE RHYTHM OF FUNNY
It is the one night of the year where comedians, industry, friends and fans come together to celebrate the best in comedy from across South Africa and the continent. On Saturday 8 September, the 8th Annual South African Savanna Comics’ Choice Awards® was hosted at The Lyric Theatre at Gold Reef City – an event hailed as the largest comedy awards gathering of its kind in Africa.
It all kicked off on the famous Yellow Carpet where comedians, celebs and the who’s who of the industry strutted their stuff to the flashes of cameras and the bright lights of TV crews vying for their attention, including famous faces like Johnny Clegg and more.
From there the more than 1,200 guests filled the theatre’s plush red seats to watch as the unique and hilarious awards show unfolded on stage, itself a world-class production of lighting, costume design, sound and technology.
Every year is unique, but this year was certainly one of the best in the awards’ eight-year history. Themed around the “Rhythm of Funny”, every detail, line and son spoke to the fantastic fusion between music and comedy, beautifully and masterfully told through well-written and choreographed performances. Tying into the #RhythmOfFunny theme, Bombshelter Beast were this year’s surprise in-house band who threaded the show sequences together throughout the night and brought colourful and eclectic music to the production.
This year’s awards show was directed by Jefferson “J. Bobs” Tshabalala and co-written by comedians Lazola Gola, Gilli Apter, Camilo Saloojee and Mo Mothebe.
The true showstoppers of the night, however, were definitely the 12 award recipients across the 12 categories, each of whom had to deliver five minutes of stand-up in lieu of an acceptance speech.
And the Waldos went to…
* Savanna Newcomer of the Year: Tsitsi Chiumya
* Chatz Connect Audience Choice Award: Abuti Lolo
* Comic’s Pen: Kagiso Lediga
* Next Level: Phil de Lange
* Flying Solo: Carvin Goldstone
* Lifetime Achiever: Pieter-Dirk Uys
* Game Changer: Loyiso Gola
* Best Friend of Comedy: Gino Fernandez
* Native Tongue: Siya Seya
* Comedy G: David Kau
* Savanna Pan-African Comic of the Year: Basketmouth (Nigeria)
* Savanna Comic of the Year: Carvin Goldstone
With the support of Chatz Connect, there were more than double the number of votes in the Chatz Connect Audience Choice Award category. This is the only category where the public votes for the winner, with more than 24,000 votes received across the five nominees.
This is the second time the Savanna Pan-African Comic of the Year Award was given out, and with Savanna’s ongoing commitment to comedy, this category is set to grow even more to reach more comedians across the continent.
As the recipient of the prestigious Lifetime Achiever Award, Pieter-Dirk Uys’s award was presented to him by Johnny Clegg, who brought the house down with a surprise performance of Asimbonanga. Uys will be honoured at his own Grilling of a Lifetime on 28 September 2018 at The Venue in Melrose Arch, Johannesburg. This unique comedy experience will make for a phenomenal, once-off opportunity for the industry and fans to celebrate the legend that is Pieter-Dirk Uys. Tickets are on sale through Computicket or The Venue.
A special packaged programme of the awards show will be aired on 1Magic DStv Channel 103 in the coming weeks. Stay close to #SavannaCCA on social media to find out when it will broadcast.
The Savanna Comics’ Choice Awards wishes to thank all its sponsors, partners and long-time friends of comedy, without whom the awards wouldn’t be possible: Savanna Premium Cider, Chatz Connect, Kaya FM 95.9, IOL, 1Magic DStv Channel 103, Sound Stylists and Stageworks.