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Savanna Comics’ Choice Awards expands into Africa, launches new award category

The Savanna Comics’ Choice Awards and long-term partner, Savanna Premium Cider, have launched the Savanna Pan-African Comic Award at a media event at Montecasino, Johannesburg on Thursday, 1 September.

The Savanna Pan-African Comic will officially form part of the Awards in 2017 as its newest and 12th category. The award will go to the comic on the continent who has contributed the most to the African comedy industry, as voted for by his or her fellow African comedians.

Savanna and the Awards hosted nine of the continent’s top comedians at the media announcement event to reinforce their commitment to promoting and supporting comedy talent across Africa. These included Bright Okpocha aka Basketmouth (Nigeria), Ndangi Iileka (Namibia), Leonel Mendes (Mozambique), David Aglah (Ghana), Phenyo Phaladi aka Phenyo the Master (Botswana), Mdura (Swaziland), Tongai Makawa (Zimbabwe), Tshepo ‘Masapo’ Mpiti (Lesotho) and Mbeu ‘Snooze’ Kambuwa (Malawi).

“The Savanna Comic’s Choice Awards® are all about elevating the art of comedy, and the African continent has produced so many leading comics – we want to reach out and close the distance in this network, so that African comedy starts to show up on the world’s radar,” says Savanna Comics Choice Awards® co-founder John Vlismas.

These comedians have been invited to attend the main awards show on Saturday, 3 September, most of whom will be part of it for the first time. They have also been given the honour of presenting the Waldos (the award statuettes) to their South African comedy comrades on stage on the night.

Comedy without borders

“We’ve never had a comedy gathering of this caliber on the continent,” says Vlismas. “The Savanna Comics’ Choice Awards® have unprecedented potential to make new connections, foster collaboration and make comedy boundaries fall away. We spoke with Savanna and they saw the value of the idea immediately.”

Comedy and humour have been a part of Savanna’s DNA since the brand’s inception, and has become synonymous with Savanna’s style and tone. “The brand’s ongoing partnership with the Savanna Comics Choice Awards® is part of the plan to keep consumers in South Africa – and Africa – laughing. By hosting these African comedians, Savanna furthers its aim of making comedy accessible throughout the continent,” says Savanna global marketing manager, Loyiso Sipayile.

The nine countries were chosen based on existing networks, and on the resources available for the pilot phase of the project. “We believe this is a great first step as we work to include every African country from 2017 onwards,” says Savanna Comics Choice Awards® co-founder, Taffia Keight.

To facilitate the connections with the African comedians, South African comedian Ndumiso Lindi will act as Savanna Comics Choice Awards® ambassador to Africa – briefing visiting comics and ensuring that each returns to their home country equipped to share the Savanna Comics Choice Awards® voting system with their fellow comedians in their home countries.

Once details of eligible comics across Africa have been captured in the voting system, the mechanics of the voting process will be announced, paving the way for the first-ever Savanna Pan-African Comic.

For more information, visit www.comicschoice.co.za.