The highlight of our local awards season took place this weekend. The 12th Annual South African Film and Television Awards (Saftas) were a glittering two-night affair in Sun City. The first evening, held on Thursday 22 March, honoured excellence behind the scenes, while Saturday 24 March was all about the on-screen stars, including actors, presenters and talk-show hosts.

Thursday evening’s ceremony was notable for its recognition of several women in the film industry, whose technical craftsmanship is the fuel that drives South Africa’s stories. Read our round-up of Thursday’s awards here.

Saturday night delighted us with many more local gems and home-brewed memorable moments. From the red carpet, to the stage and the winner’s circle, these were the highlights:

Best-dressed on the red carpet

In no particular order…

Khanyi Mbau

The country’s favourite glam girl stunned in a butterfly Posh gown.

Nomzamo Mbatha

It’s only March, but we think it’s safe to say that this might just be David Tlale’s best 2018 creation. No flaws detected.

🦅🦅🦅… #SAFTAS12 … 👗@davidtlale

A post shared by Nomzamo Mbatha 🇿🇦 (@nomzamo_m) on

Rorisang Thandekiso

The TV presenter was a visual representation of the word ‘regal’ in this Tsotetsi KL gown.

Thando Thabethe

This may not have been her red-carpet entrance dress, but the host of #Saftas12 owned the stage in this simple yet knockout blue Juma Jay Salim gown.

Sarafina for Nelson Mandela Centenary celebration

This year would have been Nelson Mandela’s 100th birthday, and what better way to commemorate his legacy than a Sarafina performance by the original stars of the film, Leleti Khumalo and Somizi Mhlongo along with songstress KB to open the evening? Based on Twitter reactions, it seems that nostalgia, goosebumps and tears filled TV rooms across the country on Saturday night.

Lerato Kganyago’s acceptance speech

The Live Amp presenter, affectionately known as LKG, won the award for Best TV Presenter, and took to the podium to give a heartfelt, sincere acceptance speech in which she praised God and thanked SowetoTV for ‘giving birth to her career’, her co-host DJ Warras, her mom for ‘carrying her pain all the time’, and her management team for ‘putting up with [her] nonsense’.

Inxeba (The Wound) wins big

Inxeba has had a turbulent cinematic run since its release in February, from staunch Xhosa men protesting against the film, to being given a rating of X18 by the FPB, thereby deeming it an ‘adult film’, and then overcoming that obstacle with a triumphant return to cinemas. This weekend, it silenced naysayers by scooping five awards at the Saftas:

  • Best actor in a feature film – Nakhane Toure
  • Best supporting actor in a feature film – Bongile Mantsai
  • Directing in a film – John Trengrove
  • Script in a feature film
  • Editing in a feature film

Is there a bigger comeback king than this staggering film? Unlikely.

Nakhane’s voice note from his proud mom

There is nothing more heartwarming than a parent’s exclamation of their pride when their child does well. The voice note the Inxeba star received from his mom when he won Best Actor in a feature film epitomises this. In isiXhosa, the nation’s (now) favourite proud mommy says ‘after all the slander and slurs, my baby… you deserve this!’

Most well-deserved Golden Horn Awards

Special mention must go to Thuso Mbedu of Is’thunzi and Warren Masemola of Tjovitjo for their Best Actress/Actor – TV Drama awards. These two household names are truly talented and are assets to the local film industry.

Congratulations to all the nominees and award winners. And may they continue to tell golden stories.