The 7th annual Mbokodo Awards will once again honour South African women who have made an exceptional contribution to the arts across various platforms and disciplines.
Ranging from film and performance to dance and literature the awards, created by Carol Bouwer Productions, aim to recognise women who have shown leadership, fostered growth and made respectable efforts to strengthen the arts.
Previously held in Johannesburg in 2016 and in Cape Town in 2017, the seventh edition will see Durban play host with many local celebrities expected to grace the event tonight.
Usually held in December, the awards this year will be held in Women’s Month.
Unicef SA advocate, philanthropist and businesswoman Bouwer, was inspired by the countless women in the arts who have made commendable strides in the industry but are often overlooked when it comes to recognition.
“The journey of the Mbokodo Awards has been an exhilarating and thrilling one for us as an entity and for me as a woman.
"It is especially important that on the year that women’s voices are being silenced through violent attacks, we host these awards during this month and we celebrate women who continue to thrive and soar despite what is stacked against them,” Bouwer said.
She also highlighted the importance of the arts in tackling nationwide issues such as femicide and gender-based violence.
“The arts play a catalytic role in national dialogue on intimate femicide and all other abuses against women, and we say to these women you are more than enough and your work is important. Keep creating!”
Among the honories are visual artist Zanele Muholi, poet and playwright Napo Masheane, actress Nomzamo Mbatha, singer Zoë Modiga and rising star Botlhale Boikanyo, who complement luminaries such as Nadine Gordimer, Letta Mbulu and Miriam Makeba.
The awards are hosted in conjunction with the Kwa Zulu Natal Women Empowerment Summit, which is also honouring the centenary of Mam’Albertina Sisulu after they kicked off last night.
The summit will close night, culminating in the awards’ gala event.