The inaugural KZN Entertainment Awards (KZNEA) broke the 11pm curfew just a day after President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the tightening of lockdown restrictions on gatherings and alcohol sales.
Hosted by Somizi Mhlongo and Pearl Thusi, the ceremony was an in-door affair at the Durban ICC onTuesday night, but instead of ending at 10pm so that staff and patrons can go home before the enforcement of the curfew, it went on until just after 11pm.
The show started at 8pm with performances by Babes Wodumo, Sjava, Khuzani and Zandile Khumalo.
“Following Cyril ’ s (President Ramaphosa) announcement the other day, we had to readjust to new regulations.
“We tried by allmeans possible to cover the 10pm [curfew] but failed. We respect the government and the president,” said Xolani Majozi, chair of KZNEA.
Organisers maintained most of the Covid-19 regulations. On the red carpet A-listers including RobertMarawa, Dawn Thandeka King, SK Khoza, Thuli Phongolo, Ntando Duma, Nomcebo Zikode and Ntobeko Sishi walked one person at a time.
The sitting arrangement inside saw guests positioned at a 1.5m distance with their masks on the entire time.
The awards had plenty of drama. Three categories – best male TV presenter won by Marawa, best female TV presenter won by Thusi and best maskadi scooped by Khuzani – were not handed out during the show.
“Due to time [[constraints] we were trying by all means to speed everything up and not announcing them was an error we then rectified at the end, fortunately the recipients were all still there,” Majozi said. The special achievement category honoured four recipients – Black Coffee, DJ Tira, Mbongeni Ngema and Ladysmith Black Mambazo.
Ngema was not presented with his award during the show, while the other three received a special segment.
Tira accepted his award in person, while Majozi accepted it on behalf of Ladysmith Black Mambazo.
Black Coffee ’ s son Esona collected the award on behalf of his father.
“Mbongeni Ngema will receive his award. On the night there was no one to receive on his behalf,” Majozi explained.
Big winners of the night included Zikode, King, Sjava, Khoza, Khuzani and Sithelo the DJ.
Winners pocketed R100,000 in each category, with Khuzani winning the coveted most loved star category and its R500,000 prize. Khuzani also took home R100,000 for scooping best maskandi.
“I feel very honoured to be part of such an award ceremony considering that it ’ s the first of its kind. Being nominated in two categories on its own was enough of an achievement for me, seeing that I ’ m literally the youngest and least experienced in the Best Club Female DJ category,” Sithelo said
“Having to scoop both the awards for mewas amazing. It feels good to be recognised by such a prestige platform and by your own people for the hard work we put in.”