Sanaa Theatre Awards 2018 winners announced in Nairobi.

Sanaa Theatre Awards 2018 winners announced in Nairobi.

The Sanaa Theatre Awards 2018 winners were announced at a colourful ceremony at the Kenya National Theatre in Nairobi on December 3, 2018.

The Sanaa Theatre Awards recognise excellence in the field of theatre and the performing arts in Kenya. The awards, founded by George Orido in 2013, have celebrated some of the best names in Kenyan theatre and performance including playwrights John Sibi Okumu, and Kuldip Sondhi. Also featuring is Kenya’s most famous literary son Ngugi Wa Thiong’o who received an award, alongside Jalada Africa, for the theatrical performance of the story The Upright Revolution.

The awards this year featured a raft of categories across the performance spectrum including for acting, stage craft, comedy, music and everything in the business of performing on stage for live and TV audiences.

There were winners who we have featured on this blog in the past including Maimouna Jallow who won Best Narrative Theatre, John Sibi-Okumu for Best Spoken Word and Poetry and Nick Ndeda (who we last featured in July) who won a special jury award. Also featuring was this blog’s founder James Murua for Best Theatre, Art and Culture Writer and Muthoni Garland who got a lifetime achievement recognition.

The biggest winners of the evening were the cast and writers of Too Early For Birds (Brazen Edition) a production which tells Kenyan stories in an innovative manner pioneered by Ngartia and Abu Sense. Ngartia featured at the Artistic Encounters show in September with Olumide Popoola. The Brazen edition written by Aleya Kassam, Anne Moraa and Laura Ekumbo starred Sitawa Namwalie, Suki Wanza, Nyokabi Macharia & Mercy Mbithe under the direction of Wanjiku Mwawuganga. That team would go home with three trophies including Best Production, Best Play in English, and Best Production on Women Rights and Gender Based Violence (Maya Angelou Award).

Marianne Nungo hands an award to John Sibi Okumu at Sanaa Theatre Awards 2018
Marianne Nungo hands an award to John Sibi Okumu at Sanaa Theatre Awards 2018
Nick Ndeda received award at Sanaa Theatre Awards 2018
Nick Ndeda receives his award at the Sanaa Theatre Awards 2018
James Murua receives award at Sanaa Theatre Awards from Mbeki Mwalimu.
James Murua receives his award at Sanaa Theatre Awards from Mbeki Mwalimu.
Sanaa Theatre Awards founder George Orido
Sanaa Theatre Awards founder George Orido

The full list of winners at the event was;

  1. Best Actor GILBERT LUKALIA (LEGALLY INSANE)
  2. Best Actress ELSIE AKINYI (SARAFINA, CINDERELLA)
  3. Best Actress in Supporting Role MKAMZEE MWATELA (JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR, SARAFINA)
  4. Best Actor in Supporting Role BILAL WANJAU (THE JUNGLE BOOK, ROBINHOOD, MINISTER KARIBU)
  5. Best Director MBEKI MWALIMU (STRANGERS BY BLOOD, LEGALLY INSANE)
  6. Best Playwright WALTER SITATI (NECESSARY MADNESS)
  7. Best Production TOO EARLY FOR BIRDS (BRAZEN EDITION)
  8. Best Tragedy LWANDA MAGERE REVISITED (KWE KALYET)
  9. Best Musical Theatre JESUS CHRIST THE SUPERSTAR 2 ROBINHOOD
  10. Best Play in English TOO EARLY FOR BIRDS (BRAZEN EDITION)
  11. Best Play in Kiswahili AMEZIDI – SILENT HITCH (HARDIK MODHA)
  12. Best Producer HON CLEOPHAS MALALA
  13. Best Theatre, Art and Culture Writer JAMES MURUA (AFRICAN LITERATURE)
  14. Best All-time Supporting Institution ALLIANCE FRANCAISE
  15. Best Performing Theatre Space KENYA NATIONAL THEATRE
  16. Most Improved Theatre Space KENYA NATIONAL THEATRE (UKUMBI MDOGO)
  17. Best Production on Governance and Human Rights (Martin Luther King Junior Award) NECESSARY MADNESS
  18. Lifetime Achievement Award
    a) PETER MUDAMBA MUDAMBA
    b) NICHOLAS MOIPEI
    c) MUTHONI GARLAND
    d) BENSON WANJAU (OJWANG ATARI)
    e) DR. JOSPHETA MUKOBE
    f) GILBERT OWINO
  19. Best Narrative Theatre
    a) ANNABEL – KENYATTA UNIVERSITY
    b) MAIMOUNA JALLOW
  20. Best Set, Light and Sound Design
    a) (LIGHT) TINGATINGA TALES
    b) (SET) ROBINHOOD, APERTURE PRODUCTIONS
    c) (SOUND) KWE KALYET
  21. Best Costumes ROBINHOOD, APERTURE PRODUCTIONS
  22. Best Comedy SUGAR AND SPICE – HEARTSTRINGS
  23. Best Dance Theatre SARAKASI DANCERS
  24. Best Play In a Local Language RUGAMA RINGI, FANAKA ARTS (GIKUYU)
  25. Best Production on Reproductive Health STRANGER IN MY BED BY DR. ZIPPY OKOTH
  26. Best Production on Child Rights and Protection SAUTI YA WATOTO BY DIYA PIYUSH GOHIL
  27. Best Production on Women Rights and Gender Based Violence (Maya Angelou Award) TOO EARLY FOR BIRDS (BRAZEN EDITION)
  28. Best Spoken Word and Poetry LEST WE FORGET (JOHN SIBI OKUMU & DAVINA LEONARD) (Rosa Parks Award)
  29. Best Production of TV Comedy Recorded before a Live Audience COMEDY ARENA – KBC
  30. Best Comedian on TV – Male PROFESSOR HAMO-CHURCHILL SHOW, NTV
  31. Best Comedian on TV – Female ZULEKA-VIOJA MAHAKAMANI, KBC
  32. Best TV Art Culture Program/News/Magazine LIFESTYLE ARTISTIC TUESDAY (KTN)
  33. Best Art and Culture Magazine / Newspaper KENYA BUZZ
  34. Best Production Primary School THE FORGOTTEN BROTHER (JUJA PREPARATORY)
  35. Best Production Secondary School THE BURDENS (KAKAMEGA SCHOOL)
  36. Best Production College and University (Prof Chris Wanjala Award) STATE OF INCOMMUNICADO (KENYATTA UNIVERSITY)
  37. Best Live Music Performance (Daniel Pearl Award) DIYA PIYUSH GOHIL
  38. Best Supporting County KISUMU COUNTY
  39. Distinguished Diaspora Award (Owiso Odera Award) TINGATINGA TALES
  40. Special Jury’s Awards NICK NDEDA

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