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Lizz Meiring Wins Naledi Executive Director’s Award

In die kolligLizz Meiring, beloved actress, director and author of the recently published In die kollig: Speeltekste vir dramaleerders, recently received the Executive Director’s Award during the 11th annual Naledi Theatre Awards “for the sterling work she has done in raising awareness about abuse against women with her original play ‘My Name/Naam is Ellen Pakkies’”.

Buzz Publicity issued a press release in which Meiring announced that “as a direct result of her Naledi nominations, she had obtained funding to make a movie of the play, which she wrote and directed”.

Congratulations to Meiring!

Press release:


The theatre industry stepped out in style for the 11th annual Naledi Theatre Awards to applaud and cheer their peers who won against the strongest competition to date in 25 categories.

The awards event, which was for productions staged during 2013, took place on Monday, 17 March, at the beautiful Lyric Theatre at Gold Reef City.

“Mies Julie” emerged as the winner of three major awards: Best Male Actor in a Leading Role, which was won by Bongile Mantsai; Best Director for Yael Farber; and Best Production of a Play.

“Jersey Boys”, which was produced by Showtime Management, won Best Production of a Musical, with Grant Almiral winning Best Performance in a Musical, and Bryan Schimmel and Rowan Bakker jointly winning Best Musical Director.

Other big awards went to Vinette Ebrahim for “My Name/Naam is Ellen Pakkies”, and the Executive Director’s Award was presented to Lizz Meiring for the sterling work she has done in raising awareness about abuse against women with her original play “My Name/Naam is Ellen Pakkies”.

Meiring announced that as a direct result of her Naledi nominations, she had obtained funding to make a movie of the play, which she wrote and directed. She said that a percentage of all proceeds from the movie would go to the “real” Ellen Pakkies, who still resides in Cape Town. Pakkies’s tragic story reverberated around the world after she killed her tik addict son, Adam, in 2007.

A Life Time Achievement Award was presented this year by the chairman, Dali Tambo, to Mbongeni Ngema for his vast body of international work such as “Sarafina” (a major movie) and, more recently, “The Zulu” – which he wrote and performed in an impressive tour de force about the history of the Zulu nation.

Executive director, Dawn Lindberg, announced three exciting new developments for Naledi: “We have partnered with the Market Theatre to create a new award: Best Emerging Voice, named after the late, great Sophie Mgcina. This award is administered by the Market Theatre under the guidance of artistic director, James Ngcobo, and recognises a young individual who is making their mark either as a director, designer or maker of theatre. The first Emerging Voice Award went to dancer and choreographer Lulu Mlangeni.

“We have also formed a partnership with Assitej SA who will administer our Best Production for Children category, now renamed Best Production for Young Audiences,” said Lindberg. “The partnership will expand this category to embrace the outstanding work being done by many new and exciting producers for our audiences and theatre practitioners of the future. Yvette Hardy, head of Assitej SA, presented this award to the National Childrens’ Theatre for “The Secret Garden”, directed by Francois Theron.

“Our third exciting partnership is with the Gauteng Department of Arts and Culture, who will administer and expand on another very important aspect of our theatre industry, community theatre, through their initiative, the Ishashalazi Awards. The recipient of this year’s Award for Community Theatre went to ‘Nomzamo’, which was directed by Gcebili Dlamini for the Hillbrow Theatre Project as part of the SA National Community Theatre Association Play Festival.”

Lindberg acknowledged the second year of major support from Auto & General Insurance, facilitated by Naledi judge and Arts Angel Carolyn Steyn, as well as funding from the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund, Distell Foundation, Wharfedale Pro and Chauvet Professional.

Carl Louw, head of Marketing at A&G said: “Once again, Auto & General Insurance is thrilled to support the Naledi Theatre Awards. This year we have been blown away by our home-grown talent – our costume, lighting and set designers, our musicians and composers, our directors and producers, our writers and of course, our actors and performers. We thank you for entertaining us; for keeping the arts in South Africa alive!”

The panel of judges for the 2013 Awards were: Renos Spanoudes, Welcome Msomi, Peter Feldman, Carolyn Steyn, Dorianne Alexander, Lakin Morgan, Ferosa Marais, Dr Lance Maron, Mandla Motau, Lali Dangazele, Rudi Sadler and Helen Heldenmuth.

Entertainment at this year’s Awards mainly featured stars from nominated shows, such as Award winner, Bianca le Grange from “Blood Brothers”, nominee, Angela Killian from “Sunset Boulevard”, and nominees Carly Graeme and Bongi Mthombeni in a medley from “Starlight Express”. Special treats were an item of ballet from the Joburg Ballet, with prima ballerina Burnise Silvius and Jonathan Rodrigues; and students from the National School of the Arts performing a top class song ‘n dance item from “Sweet Charity”, other entertainment came from Judith Sephuma, Cito, Timothy Moloi, Zandile Mzazi, and Michael de Pinna.

The entire event was shot for television which will be broadcast on a date soon to be announced.


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