The winners of the 2019 Feathers Awards were recently announced in Johannesburg. The awards recognise South African personalities and institutions, activists, performing artists, sportspeople and media organisations that fly the LGBTIQ+ flag high.
The awards ceremony was replete with electrifying performances, moving acceptance speeches and tributes. True to tradition, the winners' list reads like a rollcall of Mzansi’s finest.
Celebrating the LGBTIQ+ community in style
Fashion supernova Rich Mnisi was awarded Hunk of the Year, newlyweds Dineo Moeketsi and Zothile "Solo" Langa nabbed the Cutest Couple prize, while yummy-mummy Luthando 'Lootlove' Shosha took home the best styled individual award.
On the sports front, Banyana Banyana’s Thembi Kgatlana scooped the Sports Personality of the Year award, while Twitter’s favourite doctor, Sindi van Zyl, was awarded as the Social Media Personality of the Year.
Progressive institutions that pioneered tolerance and inclusivity also got their rewards at this year’s event. The Gauteng Department of Community Safety was recognised as the Best LGBTIQ+ Initiative: Public Sector for its LGBTIQ+ Sensitisation Training of Law Enforcement Agencies programme. The University of Johannesburg’s LGBTI Soweto Campus Society took the best LGBTIQ+ Student Movement award and YouTube series We’re Queer My Dear
got the Media Of the Year award.
Single-handedly recognised for making aviation sexy again, Major Mandisa Mfeka – the first black female South African Air Force fighter pilot – was awarded the Role Model of the Year Award, while Metro FM’s media personality Bujy and Nando’s were jointly awarded Drama Queen of the Year award for their Twitter skirmish over Nando’s freebies.
In a nod to the crucial role that supportive and affirming parenting plays, Mme Felicia Leqela, actor and content creator Lumko Johnson’s mother was awarded the Best Rainbow Parenting prize.
“This year’s event demonstrated the importance of establishing and maintaining a voice that represents the LGBTIQ+ community,” comments co-founder of the Feathers, Thami Kotlolo.
“We are a large and diverse community, and the work that the Feather Awards do is part of the dialogue on issues affecting our community. Every year, the Feathers commits itself to do more work that articulates what the community is dealing with. The ongoing LGBTIQ+ dialogues in rural and peri-urban communities across South Africa collaboration with other advocacy organisations are an exemplar of the kind of work we’re about. We celebrate in a lighthearted way while recognising the important work that’s being done.”
The Feather Awards have become synonymous with outstanding stage performances, and 2019’s event did not disappoint. The Mzansi Gay Choir delivered their trademark rousing vocals, and Busiswa brought the heat to the stage. Langa Mavuso and Berita gave a moving tribute to queer love, and Moonchild and Nokwazi brought the house down with their finale number.
Ever inspiring, the Simon Nkoli Award and the African Feather of the Year trophy went to two inspiring voices from the community, Justice Edward Cameron and Namibian human rights and communications activist Linda Magano Baumann.
All the winners:
- Best Styled Individual – Luthando 'Lootlove' Shosha
- Hunk of the Year – Rich Mnisi
- Hot Chick of the Year – Krayzie K
- Sports Personality of the Year – Thembi Kgatlana – Banyana Banyana and Beijing BG Phoenix FC (China)
- Best Rainbow Parenting – Felicia Leqela – Lumko Johnson’s mother
- Best LGBTIQ Student Movement – University of Johannesburg, LGBTI SWC Society
- Best LGBTIQ Initiative: Public Sector – Gauteng Department of Community Safety – LGBTI Sensitisation Training of Law Enforcement Agencies
- Best LGBTIQ Initiative: Private Sector – Shell SA - LGBT Network
- Simon Nkoli Award – Judge Edwin Cameron
- Diva Extraordinaire of the Year – Bonnie Mbuli
- Media Award of the Year – We’re Queer My Dear (online web series - Youtube)
- Social Media Personality of the Year – Dr Sindi Van Zyl
- Cutest Couple – Dineo and Solo
- Role Model of the Year – Major Mandisa Mfeka – SA Air Force, fighter pilot
- African Feather of Year – Linda Magano Baumann – Namibian human rights and communications activist
- Drama Queen – Bujy and Nando’s
- Socialite – Mihlali Ndamase
- Musician – Busiswa
- Fag Hag of the Year – Penny Lebyane