Soul City Institute scores in SAFTA nominations

Wednesday, 23 February 2011: Two Soul City Institute productions have received six nominations for the annual South African Film and Television Awards, the SAFTA Awards. These aim to honour, celebrate and promote the creativity, quality and excellence of South African film and television talent and productions, and to encourage entrepreneurship and the development of new talent within the industry. The awards will be held on Sunday, 27 February 2011.

Soul City Series 10 has been nominated in two categories:

  • best supporting actress, Senamile Sishi (Thoko Gumede) and
  • best writer, Greg Latter.

Umtshato (the Wedding), the South African production from Love - Stories in a time of HIV & AIDS has been nominated for four awards:

  • best actress , Noxee Maqhashalala (Nomandla)
  • best director, Rolisizwe “Rolie” Nikiwe
  • best cinematographer, Rory O’ Grady
  • best ensemble cast in a drama.

John Molefe, senior executive at Soul City explains, “It is a significant achievement that both of our flagship series have been recognised. It confirms our position as market leaders in social and behaviour change communication. These series which were researched extensively have had a tremendous impact both in South Africa and in the Southern African region. Both series focused on different Soul City Institute led campaigns – Phuza Wize - Drink Safe, Live Safe and OneLove.”

Soul City series 10 contained serious messages through the gripping drama which encourages South Africans, amongst the highest alcohol consumers in the world to change the way we drink. Viewers were introduced to families whose lives were touched by tragedy as a result of alcohol abuse and violence. It formed part of the national Phuza Wize – Drink Safe, Live Safe campaign aimed at creating safe drinking spaces and alcohol free zones and reducing alcohol-induced violence.

Thoko Gumede (Senamile Sishi) played a grade 8 student, who had visible bruises but insisted that everything was fine at home. But this was not the case. Her mother worked hard to support the family whilst her dad would spend the family money on getting drunk and abusive. Her bother also spent his time drinking to impress his friends.

Love - Stories in a time of HIV & AIDS was a series of 10 short films for television from 10 countries in southern Africa. This series was remarkable because the Soul City Institute was involved in an ambitious capacity building intervention in numerous Southern African countries where there is a dearth of television skills. 120 people including writers, producers, technical crew and directors from 10 countries were trained and mentored in the development and production of effective and entertaining drama.

Rolie Nikiwe, director of the South African love story Umtshato,was one of the mentors who ran a workshop for directors from across the region. “Southern Africa is an untapped market of potential, a gold mine of stories,” he says. “Everyone was really keen to learn.”

The series is rooted in rich research, and forms part of OneLove, the largest cross border HIV prevention campaign in the region which is tackling the issue of multiple concurrent partners. Using the power of mass media as well as on-the-ground community projects, OneLove is challenging people to think differently about their sexual lives and to debate and discuss cultural and social norms that put them at risk.
Umtshatho was set in a village in the Eastern Cape where Nomandla (Noxee Maqhashalala) is in the final stages of her traditional Xhosa wedding. On her special day, she discovers that her fiancée is cheating on her and she needs to make some difficult choices.

The Soul City series have won the following awards:

Avanti Awards

Soul City Series 2

  • Education and Training Broadcast

Soul City Series 3

  • Education and Training Broadcast

Soul City Series 4

  • Best Drama Series
  • Best Director/Directors Team
  • Best Actor
  • Best Actress
  • Best Supporting Actress

Craft Awards

Soul City Series 4

  • Editing
  • Casting
  • Camera & Lighting
  • Script


For further information, comment or photographs, please contact Michelle K Blumenau, Onyx Marketing Communication T 011 728 5004 / 083 273 9891 /

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