ZAFTA's 2023 Winners: 'Amanxeba' dominates television, 'Ngoda' movie shines


HARARE – The inagural Zimbabwe Annual Film and Television Awards roared into life on 2 December 2023, instantly proving the importance of recognising the people that are doing the tireless work to build a viable film and television industry in Zimbabwe. 

Image: ZAFTAs/Facebook

It was a night full of glitz and glamour (you should've seen the red carpet), spectacular musical performances (rappers RayKaz and Mvpani deserve special mention), and of course, the winners getting their much deserved accolades. 

The awards spanned an expansive thirty five categories, truly shining a light on everyone who works so hard to bring delight to millions of avid telephiles across Zimbabwe. 

The Cinema Society of Zimbabwe had all bases covered—from television to film to animation to documentaries, and right down to the makeup and production design. 

For the television categories, it was the John T Mabuyane produced series Amanxeba that ruled the roost. 

Image: ZAFTAs/Facebook 

The 3Ktv show took home Most Popular TV series, Best Editing in a TV Series and Best Directing in a TV Series. 

Donna N Odendaal took home Best TV Actress for her role as Nomphilo on the captivating 3Ktv drama, making it an impressive four awards. 

Speaking to Zimsphere after the victory, Amanxeba co-director Percy Soko, who also plays Tshuma on the show, saw the awards as a vindication of their work and unity of purpose as a team, as well as motivation to keep working in future. He said, "This ZAFTA's win means a lot to us as the Amanxeba team because it shows that having the same goal and understanding the story has results. Being awarded shows that we worked hard in the previous year(s) and it will push you to do even better the coming year(s)."

Percy Shoko
Filmmaker Percy Soko

Soko spoke on the importance of television and film as a means of raising awareness on societal issues. This is what Amanxeba manages to achieve through the variety and depth of its characters. "Each character in the drama represents someone, somewhere out there. The characters represent everyday men, women, girls, and boys who are in our society. Some are educated, they have the knowledge, so they help others to understand what they are going through or that what is being done to them is wrong," he explained. 

Soko attributed the emergence of new TV stations in Zimbabwe for giving filmmakers a variety of platforms to showcase their work. He said, "The new TV stations have an impact on our work because we now know that we don't have to wait for one station to accept our work. There are now plenty of options."

Outstanding TV series went to Faking It, whose lead actor Lucian T David also managed to scoop Best Actor in a TV series amid stiff competition. 

Veteran producer William Slim Magombedze took home the Outstanding Indigenous Culture, Language and Tradition in a TV Series for his drama Hakata, set in pre-colonial Zimbabwe. 

After scooping multiple awards across plenty film festivals around Africa, it was only right that the biggest film honours were accorded to Ngoda

Ngoda movie
Ngoda Film Poster

The Joe Njagu and Eddie Sandifolo produced and directed film scooped a whopping five awards, including Outstanding Feature Film, Best Achievement in Directing in a Feature Film, and Best Achievement in Sound Design. 

Charmaine Mujeri took the Outstanding Actress in a Feature Film Award for her gripping performance as diamond buyer Bhuru. 

Ngoda's fifth award was for Best Achievement in Makeup & Hairstyling Award in a Film, given to experienced makeup artist Rosebud Tsikira. For the win, she gets an opportunity to be trained in her craft by South Africa-based Evelyn Gambe, who decided to give back to her homeland and sponsor the award. The SAFTA-nominated makeup artist has done makeup and prosthetics for some of South Africa's most popular productions. 

Action thriller Veza the Unfolding walked away with three awards. The Dumi Manyetela film received the Outstanding Short Film Award and the Best Achievement in Production Design Award. 

Calvin Madula trumped the competition of feature film actors to take home Outstanding Actor for his role as Detective Mxolisi Moyo in Veza The Unfolding

Here's the full list of winners: 

1. Outstanding TV Series

• Faking It (Nakai Tsuro)

2. Outstanding Cinematography for a TV Series

• Intab’enkulu (Ngoni G. Nyembe)

3. Outstanding Directing for a TV Series

• Amanxeba (Percy Soko and John T. Mabuyane)

4. Outstanding Editing for a TV Series

• Amanxeba (Solomon Mandaza and Ibraheem Kuvawoga)

5. Outstanding TV Actress

• Donna N Odendaal (Amanxeba)

6. Outstanding TV Actor

• Lucian T David (Faking It)

7. Outstanding TV Presenter

• Mazwi (Zim Uncovered)

8. Outstanding Children’s Program

• Bhutsu na Shatireki (Johannes Machingauta)

9. Outstanding Achievement in Wardrobe and Costume Design for TV

• Bundu (Owami Ndhlovu)

10.Outstanding Achievement in Writing for a TV Series

• Intab’enkulu (Bridget Ann Paradza, Simbarashe V Munatsi, Itayi Chitauro Jnr, Placedes Lulanga, Kuda Bryan Bwititi)

11.Outstanding Educational Programme for TV

• Incredible Farmers (Billy Kabasa)

12.Outstanding Indigenous Culture, Language and Tradition in a TV Series

• Hakata (W. Slim Magombedze)

13.Outstanding TV Documentary Series

• Weekend in the Wild Episode 1 (Takudzwa Kahwiti Duncan, Comfort Muzadzi and Brandony Mushaninga)

14.Outstanding Reality Competition TV Show

• Family Honour (Simbarashe Mhungu)

15.Popular Television Series

• Amanxeba (John T. Mabuyane)

16. Popular Television Show

• Mai Chisamba Show (on ZBCTV)

17.Outstanding Feature Film Award

• Ngoda (Joe Njagu, Eddie Sandifolo and Charles Fungai Njagu)

18.Outstanding Documentary—Feature Award

• Transactions (Siza Mukwedini)

19.Outstanding Documentary—Short Award

• The Goddess in Zim (Klara Ana Rosa)

20.Outstanding Student Film Award

• Black Ultraviolet (Simba Mahachi)

21.Outstanding Short Film Award

• Veza The Unfolding (Dumi Manyathela)

22.Outstanding Animation Award

• Kizazi Moto Generation Fire: Mukudzei (Tendayi Nyeke)

23.Outstanding Actor in a Feature Film

• Calvin Madula as Detective Mxolisi Moyo in Veza the Unfolding

24.Outstanding Actress in a Feature Film

• Charmaine Mujeri as Bhuru in Ngoda

25.Outstanding Screenwriting for Film

• Tafadzwa Ranganai for Nevanji script

26.Best Achievement in Directing in a Feature Film

• Joe Njagu & Eddie Sandifolo for Ngoda

27. Best Achievement in Cinematography Award

• Leo Jakata Ericks for Sin

28.Best Achievement in Production Design Award

• Rodney Mabaleka for Veza The Unfolding

29.Best Achievement in Costume Design Award

• Melisa Ncube for Ikasi the Hood

30.Best Achievement in Sound Design Award

• Joshua Cannings for Ngoda

31.Best Achievement in Editing Award in a Film

• Lewis Aaron for Rutendo

32.Outstanding Indigenous Language Award in a Film

• Ikasi The Hood (Kudzai Chikomo)

33.Best Achievement in Makeup & Hairstyling Award in a Film

• Rosebud Tsikura (Ngoda)

34.Outstanding Experimental Short Film Award


Daughter Of the Soil (Chiedza Rwodzi)

35.Outstanding Social Media Content Creator Award

• Jedza the Notorious

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