It’s been an incredible 15 years that the Naledi Theatre Awards have been running and they are certainly recognised as the largest and most prestigious Awards entity to recognise and reward excellence in SA Theatre.
They have just appointed a new Board of Directors and added around 50 young, burgeoning and brilliant new judges, plus a new home for the Awards event, the 1000 seat Joburg Theatre in Braamfontein – its clear to see that the Naledi team have been hard at work throughout the holiday season re-imagining and re-structuring its modus operandi.
Here are some snippets from the Board and Executive:
“We all share the same passion for the transformation of our country’s performing Arts landscape. Not only is it imperative to transform our industry but we also strive to recognise and celebrate the world-class talent evident right here in South Africa.” Chairperson, Kgomotso Christopher.
Deputy Chairperson, Sello Maake ka Ncube adds “New voices emerge every month telling our unique SA stories with energy and vision never seen on our stages hitherto”. I am particularly committed to mentoring practitioners of tomorrow.
Chairman of the Judging panel, Award-winning actor, writer, radio presenter and drama teacher, Renos Spanoudes: “the Naledi Awards holds a mirror to what is happening in our multi-layered and multi-faceted society and reflects the best of writers, choreographers, sets, lighting and sound technicians, as well as fearless and inspired directors guiding performers out of their comfort zones to excite and stimulate audiences from all walks of life!”
Founder of Naledi and CEO, Dawn Lindberg, gave an overview of the re-structuring of the panel of judges:
“Over 100 professional shows are produced and staged throughout Gauteng each year. In recognition of an ever-growing theatre industry, and our commitment to keep up with this growth, we are expanding our panels and demographics of the judges to ensure we see and adjudicate as much work as possible, produced in any given year. We have therefore created 6 new panels of judges specialising in each of the following genres.”
Dr John Kani has been the Patron of Naledi for 13 years and is the recipient of the World Impact Award for 2019 for his outstanding work on Black Panther, Lion King and “Kunene and the Kings” starring Anthony Sher.
Says Dr Kani “Our biggest challenge remains that of insufficient funding from Government sources, DAC (Mzansi Golden Economy), NAC (National Arts Council) and the NLDTF (Lotto), all of whom applaud the work done by Naledi to raise the profile of SA Theatre, and enhance the careers of nominees and winners, but don’t contribute in a meaningful way to help sustain the Awards. The Executive Directors of Naledi and I will be meeting with stakeholders in our Industry as well as top companies and banks to urge them to assist in making Naledi sustainable.”
Dates to diarise:
Nominations Reveal: Tuesday 12 April 2019
Awards Event 2019: Monday 20 May 2019 on the Mandela Stage at the Joburg Theatre