The Gigabas, Shawn Mkhize and Master KG among those nominated at the 2020 Feather Awards

Malusi Gigaba and Norma Mngoma. Picture: Instagram

Founded in 2008, the Feathers are an LGBTIQ+ Awards ceremony aims to recognise and commend African queer people doing great things and the allies that support, entertain and inspire them. 

While many have all but given up on hosting their annual shindigs, the organisers of the Feather Awards have decided to forge on in ensuring their 12th annual ceremony goes on, even if they have to adjust to “the new normal”.

Founded in 2008 by queer activists Thami Kotlolo and Joe Correira, the Feathers are an LGBTIQ+ Awards ceremony aimed at recognising and commending African queer people doing great things and the allies that support, entertain and inspire them.

Each year, a number of personalities and individuals from various industry sectors, including entertainment, lifestyle, sport and the business sector are named as nominees in categories where only one winner can emerge.

“Each of the nominated individuals, in one way or the other, have either represented, inspired, or scandalised the LGBTIQ community with excellence and distinction over 12 months prior to the awards ceremony,” explain organisers in a statement.

“Dedicated to uplifting the names of LGBTIQ activists who’re doing the important work in communities across the country, the Feather Awards also pays homage to supportive media bodies, LGBTIQ student movements and selected role models who enrich and back the community.”

Over the years, the awards ceremony has evolved to include LGBTIQ advocacy activations taking place throughout the year and the first-ever music and entertainment festival which took place in 2019.

“Done in partnership with the Thami Dish Foundation, these programmes include the LGBTIQ+ Dialogues done in communities across South Africa focusing on vulnerable LGBTIQ youth and inclusion for all.”

Due to the lockdown and coronavirus pandemic, the dialogues had to go virtual this year.

Similarly, this year’s ceremony will take place on Wednesday, 11 November and will be a closed ceremony under the theme “Turn Up the Love”.

“Can you believe it, we are 12 years old this year? What a ride it’s been. From starting out as a small celebration of our community, the Feathers have transformed into a gigantic well-oiled operation. Showcasing our LGBTIQ community to the world, empowering South African youth with the LGBTIQ+ Dialogues and then, of course, the big celebration at the end with these over the top colourful awards,” said Kotlolo.

“And with a slight delay in all festivities this year, we are turning up the love and looking to a positive future ahead in 2021,” he added.

Kotlolo joined the day’s MC, Ditshego Ditshego, at a media event held in Johannesburg on Thursday to reveal who this year’s nominees are.

2020 Feather Awards Nominees

Best Styled Individual

  • Anele Papu
  • Jimmy Nevis
  • Thishiwe Ziqubu

Hunk of The Year 

  • Ryle Rene de Morny
  • Gorata Nzimande
  • Dr Fezile Mkhize

 Hot Chick of The Year

  • Blue Mbombo
  • Celeste Khumalo
  • Siphesihle Ndaba

Sports Personality of The Year

  • Siya Kolisi
  • Bongiwe Msomi
  • Makazole Mampipi

Best Rainbow Parenting

  • Napo Masheane
  • Hlubi Mthimkhulu and Mduduzi Motaung
  • Buhlebendalo and Botshelo

Best LGBTIQ Student Movement

  • Up & Out Tuks
  • NWU LGBTI: Transformation Association
  • Rainbow UCT

Best LGBTIQ Initiative: Public Sector

  • Do Better

Best LGBTIQ Initiative: Private Sector

  • Queer Wellness Centre
  • Nike SA
  • Engage Men’s Health

Diva Extraordinaire of The Year

  • Connie Chiume
  • Lindiwe Sisulu
  • Refiloe Modiselle

Media Award of The Year

  • Motswako
  • Yim’lo
  • Blood & Water
  • The River

 Social Media Personality of The Year 

  • Aus Velemina
  • Vuyokazi Nguqu
  • Siv Ngezi
  • Coconut Kelz

Cutest Couple of The Year

  • Nomsa & Zandile
  • Ricky & Tony
  • Sape & Vaivi

Role Model of The Year

  • Sade Giliberti
  • SWEAT
  • Dr Dulcy Stapler Rakumakoe

 Drama Queen of The Year 

  • Covid-19 Solidarity Fund
  • The Gigabytes
  • Somizi and Dinner kwa Somizi

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Socialite of The Year

  • Olwee
  • Sarah Langa
  • Shauwn Mkhize

 Musician of The Year 

  • Makhadzi
  • Master KG
  • Zoe Modiga

 Fag Hag of The Year 

  • Shumi Dantile
  • Shauwn Mkhize
  • Siv Ngezi

 African Feather of the Year

  • Frank Mugisha

Mugisha is a Ugandan LGBT advocate and executive director of Sexual Minorities Uganda, who has won the Robert F Kennedy Human Rights Award and Thorolf Rafto Memorial Prize in 2011 for his activism. Mugisha is one of the most prominent advocates for LGBT rights in Uganda.

Another unnamed individual will be honoured in this category, however, this person’s identity is currently being kept hush hush as organisers would like to surprise the recipient. 

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