FThe 11th annual Feather Awards took place last night in downtown Johannesburg, and as always, delivered a memorable evening. The awards ceremony was replete with electrifying performances, moving acceptance speeches and tributes made to a range of personalities and institutions – activists, performing artists, sports people, and media organisations who were lauded for flying the LGBTIQ+ flag high, as well as being an inspiring, amusing, admirable, scandalous or noteworthy personality.
True to tradition, the winners list reads like a rollcall of Mzansi’s finest – fashion supernova Rich Mnisi was awarded Hunk of the Year, newlyweds Dineo (Moeketsi) Langa and Solo nabbed the Cutest Couple prize, while yummy-mummy Loot Love took home the best styled individual award. On the sports front, Banyana Banyana’s Thembi Kgatlana scooped the Sports Personality of the Year award, while twitters favorite Doctor Dr Sindi van Zyl was awarded as the Social Media Personality of the Year.
Progressive institutions who’ve pioneered tolerance and inclusivity also got their rewards at this year’s event – the Gauteng Department of Community Safety were recognized as Best LGBTIQ+ Initiative: Public Sector for their – LGBTIQ+ Sensitization Training of Law Enforcement Agencies programme, the University of Johannesburg’s LGBTI Soweto Campus Society took the best LGBTIQ+ Student Movement award, and YouTube series We’re Queer My Dear got the Media Of the Year award.
Single handedly recognized for making aviation sexy again, Major Mandisa Mfeka, the South African Air Force first black woman fighter pilot was awarded the Role Model of the Year Award, while Metro FM’s media personality Bujy and Nando’s were jointly awarded Drama Queen of the Year award for their twitter skirmish over Nando’s freebies. In a nod to the crucial role that supportive and affirming parenting plays, Mme Felicia Leqela, actor and content creator Lumko Johnson’s mother was awarded the Best Rainbow Parenting prize.
“This year’s event demonstrated the importance of establishing and maintaining a voice that represents the LGBTIQ+ community” comments co-founder of the Feathers, Thami Kotlolo. “We are a large and diverse community, and the work that The Feather Awards does is part of the dialogue on issues affecting our community. Every year, the Feathers commits itself to doing more work that articulates what the community is dealing with. The ongoing LGBTIQ+ dialogues in rural and peri-urban communities across South Africa collaboration with other advocacy organisations are an exemplar of the kind of work we’re about. Tonight, we celebrate in a lighthearted way, while recognizing the important work that’s being done. 11 years on, we’re still standing strong”
The Feather Awards have become synonymous with outstanding stage performances, and 2019’s event did not disappoint. The Mzansi Gay Choir delivered their trademark rousing vocals, and Busiswa brought the heat to the stage. Langa Mavuso and Berita gave a moving tribute to Queer Love, and Moonchild and Nokwazi brought the house down with their finale number.
Ever inspiring, the Simon Nkoli Award and the African Feather of the Year trophy went to two inspiring voices from the community, Justice Edward Cameron and Namibian Linda Magano Baumann, a Human Rights and Communications Activist, respectively.
Released on behalf of the Feather Awards by MarangDream
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Feather Awards 2019 – Winners List
Best Styled Individual –
Hunk of the Year –
Hot Chick of the Year –
Sports Personality of the Year –
Thembi Kgatlana – Banyana Banyana & Beijing BG Phoenix F.C. (China)
Best Rainbow Parenting –
Felicia Leqela – Lumko Johnsons mother
Best LGBTIQ Student Movement –
University of Johannesburg – LGBTI SWC Society
Best LGBTIQ Initiative: Public Sector
Gauteng Department of Community Safety – LGBTI Sensitization Training of Law Enforcement Agencies
Best LGBTIQ Initiative: Private Sector
Shell SA – LGBT Network
Simon Nkoli Award –
Judge Edwin Cameroon
Diva Extraordinaire of the Year –
Media Award of the Year.
We’re Queer My Dear (online web series – YouTube)
Social Media Personality Of the Year –
Dr Sindi Van Zyl
Cutest Couple –
Dineo Moeketsi & Solo
Role model of the Year –
Major Mandisa Mfeka – SA Air Force, Fighter Pilot
Drama Queen –
Bujy & Nandos
Fag hag of the Year –
Simon Nkoli Award – Justice Edwin Cameron
African Feather Of Year –
Linda Magano Baumann – Namibian Human Rights & Communications activist