Mbokodo honours women of substance

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The Mbokodo Awards 2015 on September 11, 2015 at the Johannesburg City Hall in Johannesburg, South Africa. The awards are presented annually to recognise women in the arts. (Photo: Lucky Nxumalo)

The spirit of the phrase “Wathint’abafazi wathint’imbokodo” (you strike a woman, you strike a rock) came alive at the Johannesburg City Hall on Friday night at the annual Mbokodo Awards.

The gala evening honouring women was filled with influential women from across South Africa to celebrate their contribution to the ongoing development of local arts and culture

Host for the evening and comedian Tumi Morake had the room full of guests laughing all night, while singers KB –who launched her new single Find A Way– and top female musicians Dorothy Masuka,

Vicky Sampson, Hlengiwe Lushaba, Swazi Dlamini and Sibongile Mngoma entertained the crowd.

First lady, Dr Bongi Ngema-Zuma was in attendance to celebrate with this year’s nearly 20 category Mbokodo Awards winners. Other guests included adjudication committee members Shado Twala, Professor Pitika Ntuli and his wife Antoinette Ntuli.

But the highlight for many was the honouring of iconic women such as jazz artist Thandi Klaasen and cultural entrepreneur Dr Thembeka Nkamba van Wyk. The two were honoured with the 2015

Lifetime Achievement Award. Singer Yvonne Chaka Chaka and fashion designer Marianne Fassler received the Mbokodo Arts Ambassadors.

“The Mbokodo Awards emphasise and enhance the prestige of women in the arts,” says event convenor and producer Carol Bouwer.

She adds: “One of the exciting things for me is that we see the standard rising on an annual basis. It’s a very humbling experience.”

Bouwer told City Press, “the plan with Mbokodo is to get to a point where hopefully South Africa stops needing a platform such as this. To get to a point where it is normal for women to be rewarded for all their hard work, it is normal for women to be acknowledged for their contribution to society.”

The Mbokodo Awards were first conceptualised in 2010 as a partnership between the Department of Arts and Culture and CB Productions.

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