Three South Africans deserve a round of applause this week.
First up is local chef and first-time author, Nompumelelo Mqwebu, who won a national award for the South African region in the categories of first book and self-published in the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards for her debut cookbook Through the Eyes of an African Chef.
These awards make her eligible to compete in these same categories for the best in the world awards, with the overall winners to be announced May 2018.
The Gourmand World Cookbook Awards is an international competition founded in 1995 by Edouard Cointreau that honours the best food and wine books, printed or digital, as well as food television. Entries are accepted from 205 countries.
Mqwebu says: “It is such an honour for my first cookbook to have been so well received and recognised by such a prestigious competition and organisation. These awards have been a real highlight for me on this incredible journey of which there have already been so many highs.”
On the film front, another South African has achieved international success. John Trengrove, the director of Oscar-shortlisted isiXhosa gay initiation film Inxeba, has been signed by top US talent agency Creative Artists Agency in Los Angeles.
The agency is considered the world’s leading entertainment and sports agency, and includes Ava DuVernay (Selma), Barry Jenkins (Moonlight) and Steven Spielberg (most recently, The Post).
Says Trengrove: “This is an exceptional honour for me as [the agency] manages numerous prestigious clients and represents many of the most successful professionals working in film, television and theatre,” says Trengrove.
“The company has a long history of industry leadership and innovation, and I am tremendously excited about the opportunities that lie ahead for me as a filmmaker.”
Last but not least, the star of Inxeba – Nakhane – revealed on Instagram on Thursday that he’s been signed to Paradigm Talent Agency in the US and Coda Agency in the UK and Europe. The agency lists Black-Eyed Peas, Coldplay, Ed Sheeran and Janelle Monáe among their talent.