Who’s pulling Saftas’ strings?

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Tumi Morake and her husband Mpho Osei-Tutu at the SAFTA nominations announcement. Picture: Elizabeth Sejake/City Press
Tumi Morake and her husband Mpho Osei-Tutu at the SAFTA nominations announcement. Picture: Elizabeth Sejake/City Press

Imagine a room filled with stars of the big and small screen, gathered at a trendy venue in Johannesburg’s northern suburbs on a Thursday morning.

Imagine all these celebs have come to hear whether they have received acknowledgement for their efforts at entertaining South African viewers this past year. But then, only a show comprising puppets walks away with the most nominations on the day.

This was the reality of the event announcing nominees for the SA Film and Television Awards (Saftas), with organisers saying the awards would be themed around Imagination.

The morning belonged to the satirical marionettes of ZA News: Puppet Show, which was nominated in 11 categories.

This was too much for the actual thespians in the room; amid moans and groans were mutterings that the show’s stars were not actors, nor were their costumes “real”.

The comedy show, broadcast on StarSat, has yet to air on mainstream television.

But some people didn’t mind, especially the other nominees. Comedian Tumi Morake got the nod in the best TV presenter category for popular reality series Our Perfect Wedding, and her sitcom, Kota Life Crisis, has been nominated in several categories. “We’ve got eight nominations, that’s all that matters,” said an elated Morake.

“We did really good. It is awesome to see all those nominations for our show. If I win, South Africa knows me as a gangster, so I’ll try not to cry,” she joked.

With regard to soapies – the country’s favourite TV genre – e.tv’s Rhythm City bagged five nominations, in the best TV soap, directing, scriptwriting, editing and cinematography categories. SABC1’s Generations: The Legacy is also in contention for a few awards, while the entertaining sitcom Those Who Can’t has nine nominations.

Katlego Maboe of Expresso hosted the nomination party solo, but will be joined by TV personality Minnie Dlamini in hosting the awards ceremony on March 18 and 20. Dlamini looked gorgeous in a white, figure-hugging dress.

Actress Mmabatho Montsho rocked a clean-shaven head. At last week’s premiere of Happiness Is a Four-letter Word, the movie she stars in, she had cornrows.

Zama Nkosi, CEO of the National Film and Video Foundation, which hosts the Saftas, said: “Film making is not only about creating awesome footage; it is also about creating footage that can be easily translated for the audience.”

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