2012 Comics Choice Awards – nominees

The second annual Comics Choice Awards are set to take place in Johannesburg on the 10th of July. It’s going to be a great event… well if some of the nominees is anything to go by. I really think the comedy scene in SA is one of the strongest in the globe and I think no matter who you are or where you come from, you will enjoy comedy. Why? Because we all enjoy a laugh and we all need to laugh too. Anyways, enough with the preaching. Find below a list of this year’s nominees.

Newcomer Award:
Donovan Goliath
Dillan Oliphant
Monique Nortje
Jason Goliath

Blackberry Breakthrough Award:
Robby Collins
Mpho Popps Modikoane
Deep Fried Man
Tats Nkonzo

The Times Comic Pen Award:
Kagiso Lediga
Loyiso Lungile Gola
Alyn Adams
Vittorio Leonardi

Comic of the Year Award:
Trevor Noah
Nik Rabinowitz
Loyiso Lungile Gola
Riaad Moosa

Lifetime Achiever Award:
Joe Parker
Audience Choice Award:
Deep Fried Man
Sifiso Nene
Eddi Eckstein
Trevor Noah

On the 26th of June, Joe Parker will getting a “Grilling of a Lifetime” at Parkers. The line-up of grillers needs to be finalised but so far it looks like Marks Banks and John Vlismas are on the cards and Mel Miller will be the chairman for the night. For more details on this and the awards, visit the official site on www.comicschoice.co.za.

Idols is back

ATTENTION ALL SINGING HOPEFULS: M-Net has commissioned yet another season of singing contest, Idols. And it’s returning to our screens this July. Auditions commence this April. What’s different this year? Well not much other than the fact that auditions will fall over weekends and public holidays, meaning you won’t have to take a day’s leave or bunk school or varsity. The search is also going to be including PE and Bloem this year. Audition dates are as follows:

Cape Town – 6 April, 2010 at the Cape Town International Convention Centre

Durban – 17 April, 2010 at Gateway shopping centre

Johannesburg – 24 April, 2010 at the Sandton International Convention Centre

Port Elizabeth – 2 May, 2010 at Boardwalk shopping centre

Bloemfontein – 8 May, 2010 at Windmill entertainment centre

What do we want to see this year? Well after watching American Idol, I’m hoping we’ll have the calibre of contestants they do. They’re brilliant, really they are. I’m also hoping that there won’t be a voting scandal like last year. I’m sure that is high up on their list of priorities!

Will Liezel host again, especially since she is now co-hosting Soundcheck Live with Bongani? OR will Colin return to the Idols stage? Will Dave jet in from Oz or will we see a few new judges, guest judges like A.I? Do we need another Idols? So many questions that you and I can read more about tomorrow in The Times!

Actors gun for Jennifer Hudson

Photograph by: Mark J. Terrill Credit: AP
Photograph by: Mark J. Terrill Credit: AP

Right, so the Creative Workers’ Union of SA is having a go at Jennifer Hudson because she’s been cast to play Winnie Mandela in an upcoming film about the “mother of the nation”. In an article by Sipho Masondo in today’s The Times, he writes “The union said foreign actors should not play leading roles in South African movies because it undermined the growth of the local creative industry.” Read the rest of the story here.

Now I’m waiting to find out more about the casting process of this role and how Ms Hudson got it, but you know what I’m pretty sure it’s because of her talent. As an actor, one is expected to transform into any given character, be it speaking with a different dialect or a change in one’s physique in order to pull off the role. Charlize has done it in America, so why can Hudson not do it in South Africa? Why was this not an issue when Morgan Freeman was cast as Nelson Mandela in Invictus? Come on, the double standards here are priceless.

@ Oupa Lebogo. This is a legitimate question… besides Florence Masebe, who else would play the role better? Also if you look at the caliber of actresses she beat out at the 2007 Oscars, who are we to judge how good she is an actress if she won an Oscar
(Fellow nominees included Adriana Barraza (Babel), Cate Blanchett (Notes on a Scandal), Abigail Breslin (Little Miss Sunshine) and Rinko Kikuchi (Babel)

Yes I agree that the arts aren’t given nearly enough credit that they’re owed, but perhaps instead of pouncing on J Hud, the union should pounce on the president, the arts and culture minister. Tell them to put more money into the arts. Tell them to provide more funding to filmmakers who want to compete (technically) with the rest of the world. In that way film producers won’t have to go out and abroad to look for funding. Film director Anant Singh and actress Florence Masebe make good points, “From a creative point of view we have a great wealth of talent locally. However, it’s very difficult to prescribe how a movie should be made. There are commercial imperatives and if you want a movie to be made you have to do it a certain way. It’s all about balance.
“The integrity of the South African film industry can be maintained. Look at Sarafina. I had [American actress] Whoopi Goldberg, but I also had Leleti Khumalo playing a leading role.” (Singh)

Actress Florence Masebe said the issue was far bigger than “Winnie and Jennifer. Why do Americans and foreigners play the roles we hold so dear? The roles of people we respect. I don’t think [anyone but a South African] can even begin to understand what we mean when we say Winnie is the mother of the nation.” Again I go back to my point on Morgan Freeman playing Madiba….

This is a tricky and rather sensitive subject, I get that. We all know this movie is going to happen, no matter what. So here’s a possible solution I have in mind. Why not have Hudson share some of her skills, secrets into being an A-list actress with local talent when she’s here. Set up a workshop, funded by government one day during shooting, empower the artists by knowledge-sharing? I think instead of lambasting this talented woman, we should look at suggestions and possible solutions rather…

Wyclef Jean pays tribute to Lucky Dube

My colleague and friend, Gabisile Ndebele is in Kenya for the 2nd MTV Africa Music Awards and she got to chat to host Wyclef Jean. Here’s the article.
In an interview with The Times in Kenya, where the awards will take place on Saturday night, Jean spoke about his performance as a tribute to Dube, saying he is his hero. “What I am to Haiti, what Bob Marley is to Jamaica, is what Lucky Dube is to Africa. I had a chance to meet Lucky before he was murdered and he was a great person and a star to me. He is a phenomonal guy and that is why I want to pay tribute to him,” he said.

Lucky Dube was killed in attempted robbery in October 2007. Jean has a song named after the reggae star titled Lucky Dube which he performed for the first time when he visited South Africa in December 2008. Jean, a former member of chart-topping group The Fugees, also took the opportunity to praise local rapper HHP. “I love SA and plan to come back there and this time to do a collaboration with an amazing singer, HHP. That dude is talented, he is a beast, I’m definitely gonna do something with him,” said Jean.
Other local artists in Kenya include Zebra and Giraffe, kwaito singer Bricks, soul singer Lira, Da Les and Cassette. The event will only be televised next week on MTVBase, DStv channel 322.

WIN! WIN! WIN! With R.Kelly and The Times

PEOPS Looking for tickets, check this out:

Sunday Times, ARISE Magazine and the THISDAY Music Festival 2009 starring R. Kelly are giving you and your partner the chance to meet & greet R. Kelly at Sun City Superbowl. The multi Grammy Award winner will be performing at Sun City Superbowl on Saturday June 27 and at the Grand West Arena on Monday June 29 2009.
R Kelly released his debut solo album ’12 Play’ in 1993. In 1996 he released one of his most successful singles ‘I Believe I Can Fly’ which reached No 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and No 1 on the UK pop charts.

Prizes include:
Main Prize for a winner and partner valued at R3920:
2 x tickets valued at R405 / Dinner at the Palace – Villa del Palazzo valued at R650 per person / Transfer R500 per person / Robert Kelly exclusive meet and greet / 1 x Hamper valued at R630 which includes a “Light it up Tour” DVD and a Greatest Hits CD valued at R180 and 3 x “Arise” Fashion Magazines valued at R150 each
One of the following Sub Prizes are also up for grabs:
4 x double tickets / 4 x CDs / 4 x DVDs / 4 x Hampers valued at R630 which includes a “Light it up Tour” DVD and a Greatest Hits CD both valued at R180 / 3 x “Arise” Fashion Magazine valued at R150 each.

To enter, go to http://www.thetimes.co.za, click on the competitions page and stand a chance to win big!