COPYRIGHT THE MBOKODO AWARDS 2013. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
WOMEN IN INDIGENOUS ART 2012 AWARD WINNERS
WINNERS OF THE INAUGURAL 2012 MBOKODOS
Home

This is a special category dedicated to an artist whose singular contribution to our culture is deeply felt. Whether it was addressing the United Nations in the dark days of apartheid or filling the halls of Europe with African rhythms, Miriam Makeba was the foremost cultural ambassador of our time and her role in exporting our culture, our sound nd our beauty will never be forgotten… The legend award will from 2013 be known as the Miriam Makeba Mbokodo in her honour

MIRIAM MAKEBA

Mama Africa’, South Africa’s iconic singer and civil rights activist is known and held in high esteem throughout the globe. In the 1960’s she was the first artist from Africa to popularise African music in the US and around the world. After a spell of performing with the Manhattan Brothers, she left to form her own women’s band, The Skylarks, singing a blend of jazz and traditional African melodies. She left South Africa in 1959, performing in the US and the UK where she was immensely popular, only to find that when she tried to return to SA for her mother’s funeral, her passport had been cancelled. She was living and performing in the US in the 60’s, and received a Grammy Award for her album ‘An Evening with Belafonte/Makeba’, that dealt with the political plight of black South Africans under apartheid. However, when in 1968 she married Stokely Carmichael her record deals and tours were cancelled. After moving to Guinea she became the country’s official delegate to the UN for which she won the Dag Hammarskjold Peace Prize in 1986. Among her many memorable performances, are the ‘Rumble in the Jungle’ concert in Zaire and Nelson Mandela’s 70th birthday tribute at Wembley Stadium



This category honours and celebrates women whose works are created using indigenous materials based on traditional methods and meanings within the context of a given culture.

MADOSINI

Madosini, the great Queen of indigenous music, makes and plays traditional instruments, notably the Uhadi, the Isitolotolo, and the Umrhubhe. Her songs are infused with the wisdom and knowledge of ancestors evoking an extraordinary range of feeling. Her music has inspired many fellow musicians to collaborate with her, one of whom described her music as “the true unadulterated expression of the creative spirit”. She has performed throughout South Africa as well as in many countries overseas.

NORIA MABASA

Noria Mabasa is a world renowned sculptor whose powerfully original works are created in wood and ceramics. Her inspiration for her sculpture comes from her dreams, her ancestors and the wider spiritual world; her works resonate with indigenous knowledge and women’s issues. Her courage to follow her spirit in a field that traditionally belongs to men is a testament of her unique and determined talent. Her sculptures are in many collections in South Africa and abroad.

ESTHER MAHLANGU

The internationally renowned Ndebele painter and craftswoman, Esther Mahlangu, has dedicated her whole life to the preservation and development of traditional Ndebele culture. She is the first Ndebele artist to exhibit her work internationally, was commissioned by BMW to paint an ‘art car’ and is a recipient of the Order of Ikhamanga. She has exhibited in South Africa, Europe, Australia, Japan, Mexico and the USA. Painting since she was 10 years old she has also trained many young women to paint.

CREATIVE WRITING 2012 AWARD WINNERS

The category celebrates fiction writers who demonstrate solid creativity, imagination and originality. It acknowledges writers who are committed to their craft and strive to promote the genre.

NADINE GORDIMER

Writer and political activist Nadine Gordimer is the recipient of the 1991 Nobel Prize in literature. Her writing has dealt with moral and racial issues, particularly Aparthied. She joined the ANC when it was still an illegal organisation and several of her works were banned by the regime. A founding member of the Congress of South African Writers, she has also served as the vice-president of international PEN. She has been active resisting censorship as well as Apartheid, and more recently has supported the fight against HIV/AIDS. She has published extensively and is the recipient of numerous prestigious awards.

SINDIWE MAGONA

Sindiwe Magona has published novels, children’s books, autobiographical works, collections of short stories and plays, many of which focus on advocacy for women and stigma around HIV. Her novel ‘Beauty’s Gift’ has been described as one of the most important books about HIV/AIDS in South Africa. Her passion and commitment shine through when she facilitates workshops designed to encourage future generations of writers. Growing up on the Cape Flats she has a Master’s Degree from Columbia University and worked for the UN before returning to Cape Town.

PROMOTION AND ADVANCEMENT OF LANGUAGE 2012 AWARD WINNER

This category addresses efforts used to promote and develop languages through artistic ways - often stretching the language to compel it to introduce new meanings. It also rewards women who are giving exposure to under used languages.

JESSICA MBANGENI

South Africa’s only female Imbongi, Jessica Mbangeni writes and performs in the “language of her ancestors” isiXhosa (unlike many of her male counterparts who perform in isiZulu). As part of the internationally renowned Soweto Gospel Choir she has performed throughout the globe. As a solo artist she has been invited to perform in numerous prestigious events in South Africa and at the Edinburgh Festival. One of the most significant of these events was when Jessica took on the role of programme director, poet, singer, dancer and narrator at a birthday party for O R Tambo in 1997.

STORY TELLING 2012 AWARD WINNER

This category celebrates women who promote traditional ways of disseminating knowledge, wisdom and philosophies. As the bedrock of African culture, storytelling is central to cultural continuities in the modern age.

GCINA MHLOPHE

Lauded in the press as “One of the world’s best storytellers”, Gcina Mhlope does not merely tell her stories, she plays sings and dances them. She has used her talents to restore and develop Africa’s stories and the art of storytelling as an art form and educational tool. Gcina has used this important part of Africa’s heritage to enhance African identity and selfesteem, and has been asked to perform in many countries throughout the world.

POETRY 2012 AWARD WINNER

This category 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 platforms.

DIANA FERRUS

Diane Ferrus writes in both English and Afrikaans about personal, political, historical, and social themes. In the 60’s she was a founder member of Bush Poets, an all women poetry group from the University of the Western Cape, and is founder member of the Afrikaans Writers Association. Presently busy on a Masters degree in Women and Gender Studies,Ferrus has also done two fellowships in Women’s Studies at the University of Utrecht, Holland.

CRAFTS 2012 AWARD WINNER

This category promotes and celebrates design skills, innovation, successful promotion, marketing and job creation. It also recognises crafters who train and develop young women.

ERICA ELK

Erica M. Elk is the executive director of the Cape Craft and Design Institute, which she was appointed to establish in November 2001 following a provincial government research study of the craft sector. She holds an arts degree from Wits and is a writer, designer and artist. Through her energetic and visionary leadership she has grown the CCDI from two staff operating from a small office on the Cape Peninsula University of Technology campus, to a dynamic operation with a core staff of 20, occupying three floors of a Cape Town city building.

FASHION DESIGN 2012 AWARD WINNER

This category celebrates designers of clothing and accessories whose designs are imaginative, striking and original. It also rewards designs that promote and are infused with African sensibilities.

WETIVE NKOSI

2011 Winner of the SEWAFRICA Graduate Show and top student in years 1 and 2, Wetive Nkosi was one of the 12 AFI finalists whose work was shown at the Mercedes Benz 2012 Fashion Week. Studying at the University of Zululand the demand for new outfits led her to start designing and making her own. Other students started placing orders and design became more than a way to supplement her income, it became a way in which she could express herself.

THE FIRST EVER LEGEND AWARD WINNER
FASHION INNOVATION 2012 AWARD WINNER

This category celebrates women who foster South Africa’s fashion industry - keeping pace with the ever changing fashion world. It also rewards those women who nurture South African young designers in a creative and original manner.

GADIJA GAMIELDIEN

Gadija Gamieldien is the CEO of 36Boutiques, South Africa’s premium online fashion retailer where South African designs are featured among the wide range of goods available.

PHOTOGRAPHY 2012 AWARD WINNER

The category celebrates the creative use of photography in original and exciting ways. Artists who through subject matter or technique expand the boundaries of their genre.

TERRY KURGAN

DTerry Kurgan is an artist who lives and works in Johannesburg. Her artistic interest is in photography and in the nature of all photographic transactions. She has received a number of awards and has exhibited abroad and at home. Her work is represented in most major public and corporate South African collections and publications. One of her seminal projects was a community project in the inner city focusing on forty street photographers working around Joubert Park and the Johannesburg Art Gallery.

PAINTING 2012 AWARD WINNER

This category celebrates painters who explore new frontiers in their work and demonstrate deep imagination and originality. It values artists who explore new methods, subject matter and skills in their work.

PENNY SIOPIS

A well established artist and noted academic Penny Siopis is particularly interested in the ways that national history and personal memory intersect in visual narratives of the South African social climate. She has exhibited extensively at home and abroad. In the 1980’s she became very well known for her ‘Banquet’ paintings and her ironical paintings focusing on gender and race representation in public history. In addition to paintings she arrange of media includes monumental installations, print making and video.

Sculpture is the quintessential African art form. In this category we celebrate sculptors who creatively expand our conceptions of form and subject matter and utilise materials in original and innovative ways.

MARY SIBANDE

In Sibande’s practice as an artist she employs the human form as a vehicle through painting and sculpture, to explore the construction of identity in a postcolonial South African context She also attempts to critique stereotypical depictions of women, particularly black women, in our society. She has participated in several exhibitions in Europe, Brazil, and Africa as well as at home; her work is included in all major collections in South Africa and she has done residencies in three countries in Europe and in New York.

SCULPTURE 2012 AWARD WINNERS

NANDIPHA MNTAMBO

Nandipha Mntambo is a South African artists who has become famous for her sculptures, video and photographs that focus on the human female body and identity by using natural, organic materials. In 2005 she was the recipient of the Brett Kebble Art Awards Curatorial Fellowship; in 2006 she was one of five young artists selected for the MTN new contemporaries exhibition; and in 2011 was the winner of the Standard Bank Young Artist Award for visual art. She has received commissions from Nedbank and the Gulbenkain Foundation, Portugal.

In this category we celebrate classical, popular and traditional dancers and promoters of dance who creatively push the boundaries of their genre into new levels. Whether its Pantsula or Ballet, these artists embrace and excel in their chosen genre thus becoming synonymous with the art form itself….

KITTY PHETLA

A renowned ballerina, Kittty Phetla has performed as a guest artist nationally and internationally and has danced leading roles in ballets such as Les Sylphides, Giselle and the Dying Swan. She is a founder member of Mzansi Productions and has been commissioned to choreograph several works. She has received many awards and taken part in several international ballet competitions. She has a Cecchetti International Teachers qualification.

DANCE 2012 AWARD WINNER

Opera is the most misunderstood art in South Africa; always viewed as foreign. The category celebrates the “pioneers” who ventured into this art form to give it the recognition it deserves within our society.

KIMMY SKOTA

After completing her B.MUS. Hons at UCT, Kimmy Skota was a member of the Cape Town Opera Studio in 2005 and 2006, during which time she toured in Sweden singing the role of the Housemaid in Rusalka. In 2007 she won the SAMRO overseas scholarship. Her dynamic association with Andre Rieu has led to her performing in sell out tours around the world including Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, Mexico and the USA.

OPERA 2012 AWARD WINNER

This category honours women who push the boundaries of the genre and who create new and exciting performances of a high standard. It also celebrates those who relentlessly and successfully promote this genre.

NAPO MASHEANE

Napho Masheane is a writer, director, producer, poet and acclaimed performer on both national and international stages. She was a founder member of ‘Feela Sista’, the Spoken Word Collective, and of ‘Kalaneng Arts Track’, a youth theatre organisation created to empower emerging artists. In 2007 she produced her acclaimed, provocative and humorous ‘My Bum is Genetic, Deal With It’, and subsequently directed ‘Fat Black Women Sing’. She has studied and performed at universities and theatres around the world.

For a long time jazz was seen as a male domain. This category honours and celebrates women who have entered and contributed significantly to the world of jazz either through their performance, or through their involvement in the management and promotion of Jazz.

SIBONGILE KHUMALO

Sibongile Khumalo ‘could have been the star of any major European or American stage if she didn’t feel so strongly about making her career in South Africa’ - but she did. After completing an honours degree in the history of music she headed up FUBA’s musical department, going on to become Funda Arts centre’s co-ordinator. She has sung in major venues all over the world, and has an extensive operatic and oratorio repertoire as well as a profound love of Jazz and traditional music. Recipient of many prestigious awards, her 1998 jazz album ‘Live at the Market Theatre’ earned her one of her SAMA awards. Sibongile has also worked as a producer and given much time to ensuring a legacy for young singers.

The category celebrates the creative use of photography in original and exciting ways. Artists who through subject matter or technique expand the boundaries of their genre.

THANDISWA MAZWAI

Ever since she burst into the public’s consciousness as the lead vocalist and songwriter of the award winning group ‘Bongo Muffin’. Thandiswa Mazwai has been an indelible part of the South African cultural landscape. With Bongo Muffin Thandiswa recorded four albums and shared the stage with some of the world’s most legendary artists including Stevie Wonder, the Marley Clan and Chaka Khan. Since embarking on a solo career in 2004 Thandiswa has released two successful albums that reflect her unique and mesmerising style.

WOMEN IN JAZZ 2012 AWARD WINNER
MUSIC 2012 AWARD WINNER
THEATRE 2012 AWARD WINNER

In terms of government clusters art and culture are often placed lowest in the scale of importance. This category celebrates women who, through their work and practice, strive to promote art and publicise its crucial role in building a cohesive society.

MICHELLE CONSTANT

Michelle Constant is a journalist, Radio DJ, TV presenter, producer, entrepreneur and actress who has worked tirelessly to promote the arts in her BASA sponsored slot on SAfm Midday Live and through the BASA awards. She has been a judge for the SAMAS for more than a decade and sits on the National Arts Council’s music advisory panel. She is a columnist for numerous magazines and has her own company through which she has produced programmes for TV and radio, including a six part radio documentary on the history of choral music in South Africa.

PROMOTION OF THE ARTS IN THE MEDIA 2012 AWARD WINNER

This category honours women who push the boundaries of the genre and who create new and exciting performances of a high standard. It also celebrates those who relentlessly and successfully promote this genre.

LEBO MASHILE

Dynamic and passionate poet, author, MC, actress, television producer and presenter; co-founder of ‘Feelah Sistah Collective’; author of two published poems of verse and the producer of her own album ‘Lebo Mashile Live’, this young artist has amassed a string of awards since she began to achieve recognition in 2002. Her deeply felt commitment to improving the lot of women is a theme that runs through all her work. Most recently she drafted the ‘Body Bill of Rights manifesto’ which eloquently encourages women to safeguard and honour their own bodies and spread the message that every woman has the power to take back their own body image.

The world of art is a precarious one. Stars come and go but there are those whose staying power and commitment is exemplary. This category celebrates women who survive various vicissitudes and continue to contribute to their genre.

ABIGAIL KUBHEKA

Abigail Khubeka’s career began more than 50 years ago, when at the age of 16 she was invited to join the Skylarks by Miriam Makeba. She went on to understudy Miriam Makeba in King Kong; to accompany legendary musicians such as Abdullah Ibrahim; and to perform in Philip Tabane’s award-winning Jazz Makers. She performed in venues throughout Europe, Africa and Asia alongside legends such as Eartha Kitt and Percy Sledge. She has made a massive contribution to the evolution of South African genres of music as well as having developed a career as an acclaimed actress in film, television and on stage. She has been awarded the Order of Ikhamanga for excellent achievement in and contribution to the art of music and continues to enthrall ever devoted audiences.

DOROTHY MASUKA

EBorn in Zimbabwe, Dorothy Masuka moved to South Africa when she was 12 and her music blossomed in school concerts. In her teens she ran away from her school twice - first to join the African Ink Spots, and then to perform with the Golden Rhythym Crooners. By the time she was 19 she was touring in South Africa alongside singers she had admired as a child, becoming a close friend of Miriam Makeba. Her music was popular in the 1950’s but as her songs became more serious the government started questioning her; she went into exile in the early 60’s as a result of a song she sang for Patrice Lumumba. She lived an anonymous life as a flight attendant until Zimbabwean independence in 1981. Since returning to SA in 1992 she has released albums and continued to perform.

ENDURING ICON 2012 AWARD WINNERS
ART AMBASSADOR 2012 AWARD WINNER

LETTA MBULU

According to critics, Letta Mbulu possesses one of the finest voices the world of song has ever known. In her teens Letta began touring outside of South Africa with the musical King Kong. Forced by the exigencies of apartheid to leave her homeland she went to the USA where she quickly befriended fellow exiles including Miriam Makeba. Her performances attracted the interest of Cannonball Adderley with whom she started touring. From there her musical career soared and she worked with her husband Caiphus Semenya, Hugh Masekela and Herb Alpert among others. She finally returned to South Africa in 1991 and has performed to rapturous audiences. Over the years she made a significant contribution to the cultural and economic boycott and has been the recipient of a number of prestigious awards.