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Local Celebrities Celebrate Up-And-Coming Comedians

The 10th Savanna Comics’ Choice Comedy Awards is right around the corner and the Savanna Newcomer Showcase is an integral part of the festivities in the lead up to the main event. The showcase gives 20 up-and-coming comedians five minutes to impress both show audiences and the local comedy industry with their flair and humour. The five comedians who made the biggest impact will earn themselves a nomination in the ‘Best Newcomer’ category.

Some of South Africa’s biggest celebrities, comedians, ad agencies, casting agents and talent scouts attended this year’s Savanna Newcomer Showcase which took place at The Homecoming Centre in the heart of Cape Town and was hosted by two-time award winner Schalk Bezuidenhout, who won the Savanna Newcomer Award in 2013, as well as the Intermediate Award in 2015

Notable personalities in attendance included Yaseen Barnes, Nina Hastie, Cassidy Nicholson, Kate Pinchuck, Siv Ngesi, Arno Greeff, Tsitsi Chiumya, Kagiso Mokgadi, Tumi Morake and more.

The 20 newcomers included Wandile Waka Zwane, Dakes, Wazi M Kunene, Simunye Church Boy and Mbali Gudazi from Gauteng, Prince M’Baya, Ntobeko, Ayabonga Kene, Supa Mario, Tumi Mkha’, JamJam, Candace, Arlene Petersen, Mira, Vision Masango and Vafa Naraghi from the Western Cape, Moe Latif from the North West and Felicia Pillay, Thami Dlamini and Annie Botha from KwaZulu-Natal. These newcomers were shortlisted to perform by the local comedy industry and were rated on drive, delivery, confidence, their jokes from an entry video and if they managed to stand out of the crowd.

In a bid to further give the newcomers an opportunity to grow, the Comics’ Choice Comedy Awards held the Newcomer Incubator Workshop which offered the comedians a masterclass in the business of comedy. The workshop included conversations about the craft and the importance of writing in stand-up, branding, best practice when working with brands and insight into how platforms like TikTok can help boost their profile.

“The Savanna Newcomer Showcase is an important element of the Savanna Comics’ Choice Awards and we’re thrilled to have brought it to Cape Town for the very first time this year,” the awards’ producer and MD of One-eyed Jack, Manuela Dias de Deus says. “The showcase gives a platform to those who may not have had the opportunity to perform on such a big stage throughout their careers so far. It’s an important element of the Savanna Comics’ Choice Awards and a great way to open up the industry and introduce the local comedy space to some fresh talent. Additionally, having the newcomer incubator workshop allowed key industry players to share some valuable knowledge with these comedians – something that’s incredibly important for us as the new team behind these awards.”

This year’s nominees, including the five who will be shortlisted for the newcomer award, will be announced next month. The 2023 Savanna Comics’ Choice Awards will be held in Johannesburg on 15 April. Fans are encouraged to visit www.comicschoice.com for more information and to register for tickets to the awards. No under 18’s. Alcohol not for sale to persons under the age of 18.

The 10th Savanna Comics’ Choice Comedy Awards is proudly sponsored by Savanna Premium Cider, LIFT, Mrs. Balls Chutney, Me Channel 115, One-eyed Jack, NewsClip, amaSocial and the Homecoming Centre.

About the Awards:

Now in its 10th year, the Savanna Comics’ Choice Comedy Awards were created to build the industry, to highlight the stalwarts that have pioneered new paths, and to support emerging talent to be the best it can be.

It wants to elevate careers, to help comedians sell out their shows, and for corporates to look to comedians to MC and host their events.  The ultimate aim is for international comedy festivals to book our incredible local talent to perform abroad, and for South Africa to be attracting top international acts to tour here too.

The awards are under new management and promise a 10th edition like no other. Think glam, black-tie, intimate, canapés and cocktails. It’s going to be quite the night!


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