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NALEDI THEATRE AWARDS ON SABC3 (article first published : 2008-04-20)

Executive Director of the controversial Naledi Theatre Awards, Dawn Lindberg, and SABC3 have announced that a 90 minute Special on the recent Ceremony will be flighted on S3 on April 27 at 22h00.

"We have been editing the show for the past two weeks with the team of Rapid Blue, who shot the show" said an excited Dawn, "and it is looking fabulous! So much so that SABC decided to increase the allotted time from one hour to almost two (with ad breaks).”

The show features a stunning line-up of proudly South African stars including the Soweto Gospel Choir, hot from their Grammy Award wins as well as Danny K performing Homeless and Something Inside so Strong; Zwai and Pelo Bala singing Circle of Life from The Lion King, Michael Richard performing If I were a Rich Man from Fiddler on the Roof and Tamara Dey with Science Fiction Double Feature from the Rocky Horror Show.

Also on the programme are Aubrey Poo and Nkoto Malebye singing In the Beating of your Heart from Soweto Story; Duo Lidan in an acrobatic feat of strength and acrobatics; Mara Louw showing she can pack a punch with I know where I've Been from Hairspray; Harry Sideropoulos and Mike Huff performing Timeless to Me from Hairspray and the cast of Hairspray in a rousing finale: The Beat Goes on....

“All artistes performed pro bono,” said Dawn, “to express their love and passion for our Industry and to showcase their talents to the Nation on one of the most important days of our year: Freedom Day. MC’s are Leanne Manas and Tumisho Masha and the celebrity guest presenters include top “shlebbs” from stage and television.

“We are so proud to be part of the Freedom Day celebrations on SABC, and to share the excellence of SA theatrical talent with everyone. Hopefully our partnership with S3 will grow and sustain over the next few years, and thereby help to raise the profile of SA Theatre and to showcase the world class talent we have on our SA stages.

Life Time Achievement Awards were presented by Dr John Kani to Welcome Msomi and posthumously to Bill Flynn, and tribute was paid to the 26 thespians who died during 2007 and early 2008, including Lucky Dube, Patrick Myhardt and Ashley Callie.

“In the spirit of Freedom Day and Freedom of Expression of which our country is so proud, we have of course included the Lebo M curved ball”, said producer of Rapid Blue, Duncan Irving from Cannes, where he is promoting SA productions. "No awards ceremony is without its surprises and added drama, and the Naledi's is no exception. Lebo’s non-acceptance of the top award for Best Production of a Musical for Lion King certainly threw the cat among the pigeons and sparked international news coverage and opened up many areas of debate, most of which has been positive. The good news is that the "Lebo spat" certainly helped to put Naledi on the map and hopefully our show will not disappoint viewers who will have plenty of hot entertainment, joy, passion and drama; truly the essence of Life!"

"Our relationship with Lebo remains cordial and since the Naledi's we have already moved on in a positive way," said Chairman Dali Tambo "We are in the process of forming a new Board of Directors and have so far appointed International actor, Dr John Kani, award winning promotions guru, Welcome Msomi, the newly appointed Director of the Grahamstown Festival of the Arts, Ismail Mahomed and top businesswoman, Connie Nkosi. Other names will be announced soon. Everyone we approach is eager to help grow Naledi's into the top National Awards Event for the Live Performing Arts in SA."

Newly elected as Chairperson of the Theatre Managements of SA, (TMSA), Dawn Lindberg said that "Many of the issues raised by Lebo M are valid and we are all actively working together to help transform our Industry which already has proud track record of non-racialism, being desegregated in 1977 and bursting at the seams with world class talent of all races and cultures often seen on our stages. We recognise the need for training and mentoring of new Managements, Entrepreneurs, Directors and Designers and urge the Department of Arts of Culture to address not only these aspects of our Industry, but also the most essential area of all: to encourage new audiences into our theatres but working synergistically with the Department of Education to put going to theatre onto the curriculum's together with sport and Life Skills...

"We need to stress that the Naledi's are Proudly SA" concluded Dawn. "It was created to raise the profile of SA theatre and to recognise and reward excellence on our Live Stages. I think when the SA viewing public watches the Awards ceremony on April 27 they will be as proud as we are. Don’t miss it!"




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