The nominees for the 2019 Feather Awards were announced in Johannesburg on Thursday. The glitzy annual event will also honour recently retired Constitutional Court Justice Edwin Cameron.
The Feathers nominees list was revealed to the media at a ceremony at Constitution Hill. It comprises some of the creative, business and entertainment sector’s most inspiring, amusing, controversial and coveted personalities.
The common denominator is that they’re individuals who, in one way or another, have either inspired, amused, scandalised or represented the LGBTIQ community with distinction, said the organisers.
This year’s list features several new categories, including Best Rainbow Parenting, Best LGBTIQ Student Movement and Best LGBTIQ Initiatives (public and private sectors).
Nominees include the likes of sportspeople such as Banyana Banyana captain Janine van Wyk, social media personalities like Dr. Sindi van Zyl, divas Somizi and Bonnie Mbuli, drama queens such as Rachel Kolosi, musicians such as Busiswa, parents to LGBTIQ luminaries such as Mally Simelane, and LGBTIQ corporate initiatives such as Nike’s Be True campaign.
The Feather Awards also gives an important nod to media bodies and role models who have done crucial work for LGBTIQ equality. Among these nominees are online platform Inkanyiso.org, which is up for the Media of the Year award, and Wits Activate, which has been nominated for Best LGBTIQ Student Movement.
Recently retired Justice Edwin Cameron – who broke new ground as an openly gay and HIV positive senior official – will be honoured with the Feather of the Year Award and Namibian human rights activist Linda RM Baumann will receive the African Feather of the Year accolade.
The 2019 Feather Awards will host a 2-day festival
Over the 11 years of its existence, the Feather Awards has evolved from an event focusing solely on entrainment-based awards, to include regular LGBTI advocacy programmes.
Among them are the LGBTIQ+ Dialogues in communities across South Africa, in partnership with the Thami Dish Foundation, as a response to the prejudice and socio-economic and structural challenges faced by LGBTIQ people. This year’s dialogues focused on legal rights, health rights and diversities in sexuality education.
“I’m really proud of what the Feather Awards has become, and look forward to it growing to even greater heights,” commented co-founder, Thami Kotlolo. “The Feather Awards event has become a key platform to showcase what’s happening out there within the LGBTIQ community, celebrate our community and allies, and have a complete blast while doing it.”
Kotlolo revealed that there are some exciting new changes in line for the Feathers this year. “We’ve decided to move the date to October to align with Pride Month so that our message becomes a little bit more high impact. We’ve also now decided that we’re going to extend this into a festival, from 17th to the 19th of October.” (Details are to be announced.)
The 2019 Feather Awards ceremony itself will take place on the 17th of October and will see the winners being awarded alongside performances by some of SA’s top talent. There will also be a two-hour ‘Pink Carpet’ extravaganza as a lead-up to the ceremony, where Mzansi’s most outrageous, fabulous, and effortlessly elegant will strut their stuff.
Here are all the 2019 Feather Awards nominees:
Best Styled Individual
Hunk of the Year
Hot Chick of the Year
Sports Personality of the Year
Janine Van Wyk
National Netball Team
Best Rainbow Parenting
(Powerful examples of parents who’ve championed for inclusion and acceptance of the LGBTIQ community)
Nozuko Bala and Nomalinde Ndiki – Moshe Ndiki & Phelo Bala’s moms
Mally Simelane (posthumous nomination) – mother to the late Banyana Banyana player and LGBTIQ+ activist Eudy Simelane
Felicia Leqela – Lumko Johnson’s mother
Best LGBTIQ Student Movement
UJ LGBTI SWC Society
Best LGBTIQ Initiative: Public Sector
Gauteng Department of Community Safety
Dept of Health: Gender Realignment Program
Gauteng Enterprise Propeller: Pink Pitching Booster
Best LGBTIQ Initiative: Private Sector
Shell SA – LGBT Network
Nike -Be True
Unilever – Unilever Inclusion Forum, PRIDE
Diva Extraordinaire of the Year
Media Award of the Year
One Night with my Ex – Mzansi Magic
Inkanyiso.org – online publication
We’re Queer My Dear – online web series
Social Media Personality Of the Year
Dr Sindi Van Zyl
The Funny Chef
Moshe Ndiki & Phelo Bala
Sylvester Chauke & Tumelo Mmusi
Dineo Moeketsi & Solo
Role Model of the Year
Bujy & Nandos
Metro FM & the Msunery drama
Socialite of the Year
Fag Hag of the Year
Feather of The Year
Justice Edwin Cameron
African Feather of Year
Linda RM Baumann (Namibia)
Category finalists and winners were selected and adjudicated by a panel consisting of members of the media and entertainment industry “who’re firmly in touch with what’s hot on the South African social circuit,” said the organisers.