The River sweeps the Saftas

Linda Sokhula (left) and Kgomotso Christopher (right) Picture: Phumlani S Langa
Linda Sokhula (left) and Kgomotso Christopher (right) Picture: Phumlani S Langa

It may be cash-strapped, but that didn’t stop the celebs from having a bash

Mzansi Magic’s The River was the big winner at the cash-strapped SA Film and Television Awards (Saftas) which took place at Sun City this weekend.

But the celebs did manage to party up a storm, despite the prestigious event’s slashed budget.

Usually there are various events attached to the awards show, but the industry appears to have lost its appetite for extras.

However, the budget cuts were out of mind at a beach party held on Friday night at the resort’s Valley of the Waves.

Stars and journalists milled about enjoying a decent spread of food.

Reporters are not usually allowed to attend the event, held ahead of the big ceremony on Saturday night, because the organisers want the celebs to feel at ease and not worry about getting photographed in compromising positions.

Among the revellers were Linda Sokhulu and Kgomotso Christopher, who were spotted strolling down the main road together.

The two appeared to be firm friends, after sharing the screen on SABC 3’s soapie Isidingo.

As the night wore on and the beach party drew to a close, those celebrities who were still able ambled over to the resort’s infamous Revue and Encore nightclubs.

City Press spotted quite a few local stars enjoying one another’s company at the venue – including actors Nelisa Mchunu, Khaya Dladla and Nokuthula Mabika talking and having a laugh, much as they used to on the soapie, Uzalo, in which their three characters worked together in a hair salon.

Dladla and Mabika have since left the soapie and their absence is sorely felt.

But, inside the club, a fight broke out in the smoking section where a man dispensed a major beat down on another brother who was being verbally abusive to a woman in the room.

Yesterday morning City Press spotted an actress from a popular early evening soapie on SABC trying to grab breakfast with a friend of hers.

Due to budget cuts, guests had to reach into their own pockets, which can be tough when the SABC’s payment schedule is erratic at best. The actress’s card was declined.

Around lunchtime yesterday, the first of two awards ceremonies – the more technical gongs – took place and hardly anybody bothered.

Who cares, really? Those are just the writers and people who give life to ideas.

Saturday evening brought with it the business of dishing the major awards out. No surprises in some cases: actor Warren Masemola won an award for best supporting actor in a TV comedy for Single Galz. And Uzalo was crowned the best soapie yet again.

But the biggest winner on the night was the hugely popular drama The River, scooping another five awards and bringing their total to 10.

Christopher also finally won an award for best actress for her role on Scandal! Another TV villain was acknowledged, Jamie Bartlett, better known as his character David Genaro in Rhythm City.

Another crowd favourite, Lorcia Cooper, won a well-deserved gong for best supporting actress in a TV drama for her role in Lockdown.

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