I’m nominated for an Mbokodo Award in the Comedy Category! (Which makes sense, imagine I was nominated in the Architecture category? THAT would be comedic. “What is this, a house built for funny ants?!?”)
I‘ve never been personally nominated for anything! Not even as a prefect in school (much to my family’s disappointment, and my non-surprise.)
I won an award for a poem, once I wrote when I was 11 years old. About Spring. Coz that warm weather really gets me waxing lyrical. Never mind that I was 11 in 1994 and I could have written a poem about the start of Democracy. The end of my country’s tragic law, the birth of Mandela’s rainbow nation – THAT should have won an award. But I was happily nestled in my white privilege, and SPRING was the most essential thing to put pen to paper about. I even rhymed womb with tomb. It was special. I called eggs tombs. That’s not deep that’s just wrong. It’s the literal opposite of a tomb. Unless you’re buying it to eat. Then perhaps. Wow. Maybe I am deep. I was advocating veganism. No wonder I had no friends.
But now I’m nominated for a real award, Mbokodo (which means rock) honours women in South Africa who are changing the field in their respective industries of the Arts. It’s curated by Carol Bower Productions and the Department of Arts and Culture. You can read more here.
To be honest, I feel like I’ve somehow sneaked in under the radar. I don’t know how, who or when they chose me. You don’t register for this award, you don’t send in a submission – they watch the industries and you are nominated by an independent panel. So, HOW did they notice me? I’ve only been doing this for 4 years. I don’t really deserve it! (But I’ll take it!) I have a sneaky suspicion my latest show in Grahamstown at the National Arts festival is what caught their eye. I say this because in their bio of me on the website they quote some of the reviews that were in the Cue paper (the festival paper) this year. AND during one of my shows, there was a very official looking woman, with the ‘all access’ media passes around her neck, who sat in the front row with her arms crossed and never even cracking a smile. The whole way through my hour of hilarity. Any comedian will tell you, that even if, in a room of 100 audience members, 99 of them are laughing – we will only focus on that 1 who is not. She was my nemesis. I was convinced she was a reviewer and a scathing expose was about to surface. It didn’t. (Or maybe it did and my thoughtful friends managed to buy them all and burn them before my sensitive eyes discovered it. Just kidding, my friends are comedians. They would have wallpapered my car with that shit, making sure I saw it as they laughed in a bush nearby. I love them.)
But yes, here I am. Getting flown up to the awards in Joburg this Friday. (SAA, thank you very much. FREE FOOD ON THE PLANE. Whoo hoo! Luxury!) Getting free accommodation in the Raddison Blu, Sandton and getting the honour of being at the same event of people who are truly inspiring.
We all roll our eyes at the ‘It’s an honour just to be nominated’ schpeel. But that’s how I feel. Really. My fellow nominees are absolute powerhouses, Mel Jones and Irit Nobel. Two women who’ve been in the game much longer and, in many ways, paved the way for me. The 2014 winner is Celeste Ntuli, another absolute steam-train of a comedian. The Queen of Zulu comedy. Believe me when I say, I am honoured and humbled to even be on the same website as these women.
I’ll be wearing local Cape Town Designer, Blackeyed Susan (available at The Bromwell). I love their stuff. I’ve worn their dresses twice before. To two other awards shows – The Fleur Du Caps and the SAFTAs. (Both of which I wasn’t nominated for) Well, the SAFTA’s was for ZAnews and we had 11 nominations. Including ‘best writing’, but I doubt it was because of any of the ludicrous things I’ve written.
Other fabulous nominees include Tara Notcutt (for theatre) and Lauren Beukes (for creative writing). Are you kidding me?! I stayed up reading Lauren’s novel, Broken Monsters just last week – now I get to say I’m nominated for the same awards show that she is!? Pinch me! (I like it.)
*high five for ROCKS (Mbokodos)*