The KwaZulu-Natal Film Commission is proud to have hosted 2nd Simon “Mabhunu” Sabela Awards

Mr. Simon “Mabhunu” Sabela, in whose honour the Film Awards are named, was a legend in film and television. Not only was he South Africa’s first Black film director, he also had a long and successful career which saw him feature in over 34 movies, both nationally and internationally.

The theme for the awards this year was ‘Passing the Baton and Keeping The Fire Burning’. Among those who were honoured at the awards are actors, producers, directors and various film technicians.

Bonnie Henna and Nik Rabinowitz were wonderful as the hosts for the night.

The winners in the three categories are as follows:

Heroes and Legends

  • Mr Zamokwakhe Ngcobo who is a writer, director, producer and editor from Clermont, Durban. He is dedicated to creating a platform for the disadvantaged youth who aspire a career in the media industry
  • Prof Keyan Tomaselli is a Senior Professor and Director for The Centre for Communication, Media and Society (CCMS), a Research Leader: Culture, Health and Communication for the School of Applied Human Science at the University of Kwazulu-Natal and is one of the leading communication theorists in the world
  • Mr Tonie Van der Merwe is a producer who is one of the most prolific filmmakers in South Africa’s history, having built a legacy of over 400 films for African audiences during the height of Apartheid. He is happiest when behind the camera.
  • Ms Sandra Herrington is a producer, editor and scriptwriter. She has been involved in TV production for the past 25 years and is the Head of Tekweni TV productions.


  • Ryley Grunenwald is a director and cinematographer. The Dawn of a New Day being one of his most recognized work. She serves on the board of the Documentary Filmmakers Association as well as the board of the South African Screen Federation.
  • Thabani Mthembu, this is a filmmaker and producer of Iphupho “The Dream” and Between Friends. He is currently the CEO at Impucuzeko Film Productions
  • Noxy Mavundla is a producer, director and filmmaker from Richards’ Bay. Her projects include, The Zulu Maiden and currently holds the position as Manager at Zulu Coast Film Officer
  • Elle Matthews is a writer and producer of Oil On Water which has been nominated 10 international film festivals. She also owns of Tidalwave Productions
  • Madoda Ncayiyana is an internationally known filmmaker, director and producer. He has worked on projects such as Izulu Lami “My Secret Sky” and is the Founder of Vuleka Productions

New Entrants

  • Mlamuli Khoza who is a 3rd year Movie Technology student who specializes in Cinematography and Special effects at Creative Arts College and has worked on projects such as a 24 minute pilot called, Imfihlo and Izwi Lika Baba
  • Lungelo Ngcobo is a script supervisor and an Acting Graduate in Drama Studies from DUT who has worked on projects such as Zabalaza, Intersexions II, Room 9 and Between Friends.
  • Ndaba Ka Ngwane is an actor who has had roles in Rhythm City, When we were Black, Kowethu and Mbalemnyama. He is also the writer, director and producer of multi-award winning Uhlanga “The Mark”.
  • Mzwandile Ndaba is a final year Video Technology student at DUT. His main interests are filmmaking, producing, and directing. His projects includes, No Where To Run.
  • Grant Thomson is an editor, director and producer with a keen eye for creative beautiful shots and angles. Grant has also launched own production company “Project1977 Films”.

Chairman’s Special Award

  • Louis Gosset Jnr for his lifetime contribution to film.

MECs Special Awards

  • Bheki Mkhwane from “Isibaya”
  • Joe Mafela of “Sgudi Snice”
  • Lawrencia Mthembu from “Family Bonds”
  • Mandla Thabethe from “Family Bonds”
  • Ruth Cele from “Hlala Kwabafileyo”

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