KwaZulu-Natal’s finest gems shine in the first provincial entertainment awards

Siphelele Shezi


Pearl Thusi, Robert Marawa and DJ Tira lead the pack of nominees in the newly unveiled KwaZulu-Natal Entertainment Awards (KZNEA). The trio scooped three nominations respectively when the list was revealed in Durban this afternoon.
Thusi is up for Female Actress, Female TV Presenter and KZN’s Most Loved awards; while Marawa received nods for Radio Presenter Male, Male TV Presenter and KZN’s Most Loved awards; and DJ Tira walked away with nominations in Best Music Promoter, KZN’s Most Loved and Special Achievement Award.
In their inaugural year, the KZNEA, are an ambitious award event that aims to honour outstanding achievements and contributions in entertainment by personalities and acts that were born and raised in KZN or have close ties with the province.
The winners will be announced on 15 December 2020 at a glittering and star studded event in Durban. Each category winner pockets R100 000 cash and the overall KZN’s Most Loved star walks away with a cool R500 000.
Spread over 23 categories, it’s a clash of entertainment titans that include Female Artist category where Nomcebo Zikode of Jerusalema fame, Kelly Khumalo, Zandie Khumalo, Zanda Zakuza, Babes Wodumo, Holly Rey, Simmy Cici and Shekhinah compete for Female Artist award. On the other hand, it’s Sjava, Mlindo the Vocalist, Nasty C, Riky Rick, Tellaman, Big Zulu, Zakwe and Khuzani to battle it out for Male Artist award.    
On the television front Thusi faces stiff competition from Minnie Dlamini-Jones, Nandi Madida, Nomalanga Shozi, Carishma Basday, Anele Zondo and Ayanda Thabethe for the Female TV Presenter award. Marawa goes up against Andile Ncube, Somizi, Shahan Ramkissoon, Sizwe Dlomo and Zulu Mkhathini for Male TV Presenter award.
Radio giant Dudu Khoza of Ukhozi FM takes on Nomalanga Shozi of Gagasi FM, Stacey Norman of East Coast Radio, Vanessa Marawa of Vuma FM, Mroza of Ukhozi FM, Jacinta Ngobese of Vuma FM and Minnie Ntuli of East Coast Radio in the Radio Presenter Female category.  Marawa of Metro FM battles Tshata Ngobe of Ukhozi FM, Sizwe Dlomo of Kaya FM, DJ Sphectacular of Metro FM, DJ Warras of Gagasi FM, Bongani Mtolo of R2000, Bongi Gwala of SAFM, Darren Maule of East Coast Radio and Selby Mkhize of Ukhozi FM for the Radio Presenter Male award.
The Male Actor category sees Bheki Mkwane taking on fellow cast member Siyabonga Thwala ,Simphiwe Majozi, SK Khoza, Siyabonga Shibe, Thembinkosi Brian Mthembu, Sandile Dlamini and Ntobeko Sishi.
The Actress category pits Thusi against Thuso Mbedu, Nomzamo Mbatha, Leleti Khumalo, Thandeka Dawn-King, Ayanda Borotho, Thembi Mtshali-Jones and Gugu Gumede.
The spotlight is also on new talent in the category of Newest Find and the nominees are Qwabe Twins, Blaq Diamond, TNS, Ntobeko Sishi, Sbahle, Mthunzi, Mnqobi Yazo and Sithelo the DJ.
The KZN’s Most Loved Cousin category tips the hat to entertainers that have impacted the province even though they are not from KZN and the nominees are AKA, Cassper Nyovest, Bonang Matheba, Boity Thulo, Kwesta, DJ Maphorisa, Jub Jub and Itumeleng Khune.
Special Achievement Award recipients are DJ Tira, Black Coffee, Ladysmith Black Mambazo and Mbongeni Ngema.
Not only is KZN renowned for its slew of talented entertainers, but it hosts some of the biggest events in the South African entertainment calendar, as such the category of Event of the Year rewards this competitive space. The nominees are Fact Dbn Rocs, Ink Kasi, Dbn Jazz Festival, Impucuzeko, Last Dance, Rage, Splashy Fan, Durban Spring Break, Gagasi Beach Fest and Ivyson Tour.
Boasting some of the best views, weather and surrounds in South Africa, the KZN’s Coolest Hang Spot category recognises the most outstanding venues in the province. Nominated are Max’s Lifestyle, Views on 25, Mojos, Eyadini ,Scrapyard, Nembulas Place, Gagasini, Ten11 and Artizen Lounge.
In KZN’s Most Loved, the category that carries a half a million rand prize money, the awards honour the darlings of the province and in the race are Thusi, Marawa, DJ Tira, Black Coffee, Riky Rick, Sjava, Khuzani, Nomzamo Mbatha, Minnie Dlamini-Jones, Nasty C and Somizi.
Xolani Majozi, the chairman of the KZNEA congratulated the nominees: ‘KZN this one is for you by you. We are a province rich with talent and it’s about time we bragged about it. This is to inspire every young aspiring artist and creative out there and to assure them that they are on the right path. Come December 15 South Africa is going to come to a standstill.’
• The KZNEA is organised by Songs on the Charts and GagasiFM is a media sponsor
 
 Complete list of nominees:
RADIO PRESENTER FEMALE: Dudu Khoza (Ukhozi FM), Nomalanga Shozi (Gagasi),  Stacey Norman (East Coast Radio), Vannesa Marawa (Vuma FM), Mroza (Ukhozi FM), Jacinta Ngobese (Vuma FM) and Minnie Ntuli (East Coast Radio)
RADIO PRESENTER MALE: Tshatha Ngobe (Ukhozi FM), Sizwe Dlomo (Kaya FM), DJ Sphectacular (Metro FM), Robert Marawa (Metro FM), DJ Warras (Gagasi FM), Bongani Mtolo (R2000), Bongi Gwala (SAFM), Darren Maule (East Coast Radio) and Selby Mkhize (Ukhozi FM)
CLUB DJ FEMALE: Sithelo The DJ, DJ Zinhle, DJ Happygal, DJ Cndo, DBN Gogo and Lesoul
CLUB DJ MALE: Dlala Thukzin, DJ Sphectacular, DJ Sox, Andy X, DJ Lag, Culoe De Song, DJ Bongs and Sun-El Musician
FEMALE ARTIST: Zandie Khumalo, Kelly Khumalo, Nomcebo Zikode, Zanda Zakuza, Babes Wodumo, Holly Rey, Simmy, Cici and Shekinah
MALE ARTIST: Sjava, Khuzani, Mlindo the Vocalist, Nasty C, Riky Rick, Tellaman, Zakwe and Big Zulu
BEST PRODUCER: Mondli Ngcobo, Sun-El Musician, Lindelani Gumede, Campmasters, DJ Lag and Sketchy Bongo
MALE ACTOR: Bheki Mkwane, Siyabonga Thwala, Simphiwe Majozi, SK Khoza, Siyabonga Shibe, Thembinkosi Brian Mthembu, Sandile Dlamini and Ntobeko Sishi
FEMALE ACTRESS: Pearl Thusi, Thuso Mbedu, Nomzamo Mbatha, Leleti Khumalo, Thandeka Dawn-King, Ayanda Borotho, Thembi Mtshali-Jones and Gugu Gumede
FEMALE TV PRESENTER: Pearl Thusi, Minnie Dlamini-Jones, Nandi Madida, Nomalanga Shozi, Carishma Basday, Anele Zondo and Ayanda Thabethe
MALE TV PRESENTER: Andile Ncube, Somizi, Robert Marawa, Shahan Ramkissoon, Sizwe Dlomo, and Zulu Mkhathini
BEST COMEDIAN: Sifiso Nene, Siyanda Maphumulo, Carvin Goldstone, Celeste Ntuli, Felix Hlophe and Thenjiwe Maphumulo
NEWEST FIND: Sbahle, Qwabe Twins, Ntobeko Sishi, Blaq Diamond, Mthunzi, Mnqobi Yazo, Sithelo The DJ and TNS
KZN'S MOST LOVED: Tira, Black Coffee, Sjava, Pearl Thusi, Khuzani, Nomzamo Mbatha, Minnie Dlamini-Jones, Nasty C, Riky Rick, Robert Marawa and Somizi
EVENT OF THE YEAR: Fact Dbn Rocks, Ink Kasi, Dbn Jazz Festival, Impucuzeko, Last Dance, Rage, Splashy Fan, Durban Spring Break, Gagasi Beach Fest and Ivyson Tour
BEST MUSIC PROMOTER: Kgolo Da Guru, Junior Lavie, DJ Tira, Dogg Durban and Mjay Zama
RADIO STATION OF THE YEAR: Ukhozi FM, Vuma FM, Gagasi FM, and East Coast Radio
SPECIAL ACHIEVEMENT AWARD: DJ Tira, Black Coffee, Ladysmith Black Mambazo and Mbongeni Ngema
KZN'S COOLEST HANG SPOT: Max’s Lifestyle, Views on 25, Mojos, Eyadini, Scrapyard, Nembulas Place, Gagasini, Ten11 and Artizen Lounge
KZN'S MOST LOVED COUSIN: AKA, Cassper Nyovest, Bonang Matheba, Boity Thulo, Kwesta, DJ Maphorisa, Jub Jub and Itumeleng Khune
ENTERTAINMENT WRITER: Jabulani Langa (Daily Sun), Fanelesbonge Bengu (Isolezwe), Charles Khuzwayo (Isolezwe), Ntombi Makhoba (City Press), Sandile Makhoba (Ilanga) and Lucky Cain (Ilanga)
BEST MASKANDI: Khuzani, Igcokama Elisha, Intencane, Inganezoma, Shwi Nomtekhala, Qadasi noMaqhinga, Imfezi Emnyama, Bahhube, Sgwebo Sentambo, Thokozani Langa and Imithente
BEST TELENOVELA: Imbewu, Uzalo, Durban Gen and IHostela