It is official. The Stellenbosch University’s (SU) Woordfees (Wordfest) is the most popular arts festival in South Africa! This announcement was recently made at a prestigious event at the Artscape in Cape Town where the SU Woordfees won the kykNET Fiesta popularity prize. The winner of this prize is chosen by the public via SMS.
The Fiestas honours actors and theatre personalities for the work they do in various capacities at arts festivals. Three artists were also honoured for their life’s work.
Prof Dorothea van Zyl, Director of the Woordfees, said “a cloud of thankfulness descended upon me” and added that the Woordfees team are on cloud nine after hearing the news. She thanked kykNET for being the first to give special acknowledgement to arts festivals for their role “as sparkplugs that ignite the engine of creative arts in this country”.
Antoinette Kellerman and Marthinus Basson, both affiliated to SU’s Drama Department, were also honoured with Fiestas. Kellerman received the award for ‘best act in a one person play’ and for ‘best actress’ – both for the theatre production As die broek pas. Basson was rewarded for ‘best theatre design’ for As die broek pas which also won the prize for ‘best production’.
The 2011 Woordfees, with the theme of Elwe en Selwe (elves and the self), is being held from 4-13 March. “The theme”, Prof Van Zyl explains, “plays on the year 2011, the new Unit for the Advancement of Reading and Festival Management (ELF), and to a degree on the supernatural. ‘Selwe’ highlights the unique characteristics which makes our participants special personalities and stars. Yet again we again have an enormous and impressive programme with exactly 20×11 hit-presentations, with something for everyone – some at really low prices and some even for free!”
“We are all servants of Afrikaans. The Dutch writer Adriaan van Dis, didn’t call Afrikaans ‘Nederlands met elfenvoetjies’ – which speaks to our theme, Elwe and Selwe – for nothing”, Prof Van Zyl added!
Article by Stellenbosch University