By Dumisani Dube
Johannesburg: The who is who of the Mzansi Queer community and allies gathered at The Market Theatre in Newtown, Johannesburg to witness the 13th dose of The Feather awards. The pink carpet was spread for the world to see. The atmosphere was lit to say the least. Walking you could feel the energy of love and unity, characterized by the laughter and giggles in the midst of camera clicks and flashes. It was an awesome feel.
Standing by the gate one could see that the patrons got the memo and went all out. Yes, there were fashion misses here and there, but most were hits. The colour black dominated the scene, with a dollop of red and white here and there. In short, it was a garden of flowers that had all bloomed at the same time, sweet scented and fabulous all round.
Befitting was the venue, The Feather Awards was marking its 13th anniversary in which the Founder Thami Dish (in a bold, fabulous black ensemble) described her baby as “Now a teenager!” 11:11 was the date and those that believe in numerology will agree with me that this event was an example synchronicity. From the welcome to the host and right deep into the ceremony itself it was organized to the tee.
Elegantly dressed, the hosts took turns on stage delivered, amongst them Zizo Tshwete, Ditshebo Ditsego, Lumka Johnson, Penny Lebyane and Louw Breytanbach who brought in a surprise speech by The President of The Republic, Cyril Ramaphosa who made sure he didn’t miss an alphabet in his speech, slowly calling out LGBTQIA+. The House of Pink brought the roof down with laughter and chuckles. Live performance by Lady Du, Tamara Dey, Holly Rey and our very own Mzansi Gay Choir left us jaw dropped.
Award recipients took to the stage to accept their accolades uniquely and in style. Some with jubilation and dance, some with solidarity slogan chants. When Phuti Minaj accepted his in a very emotional state, in tears he said it was an honour to receive such an award for a sport that had put him through a lot of pain. Phuti is a professional footballer player and the first to come out as queer within a sport that has been “hetero” dominated. He won the Sports Person of the year, well deserved Phuti.
Congratulations to Thami Dish and Team for yet another successful show, we see you! And here are the winners:
Best Styled Individual
Zozibini Tunzi and Rich Mnisi
Hunk of the Year
Diva Extraordinaire of the Year
Sport Personality of the Year
Phuti “Minaj “ Lekoloane
Role Model of the Year
Cutest Couple of the Year
Sylvester Chauke & Tumelo Mmusi
Hot Chick of the Year
Media Award of the Year
Fag hag of the Year
Musician of the Year
Makhadzi and Lady Du
Socialite of the Year
Drama Queen of the Year
Social Media Personality of the Year
Best LGBTIQ Initiative (Private Sector)
Ernest & Young
Best LGBTIQ Initiative (Public Sector)
Gauteng Department of Education
Best LGBTIQ Youth Movement
Best Rainbow Parenting
African Feather Award
Dr Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka
Simon Nkoli Award