The 6th Edition of the Sanaa Theatre Awards took place in Nairobi city on December 17th, 2019. Sanaa Theatre Awards, founded by journalist and playwright George Orido in 2013, is Kenya’s only professional theatre awards scheme.

Ceremony

The award ceremony took place at the Nairobi National Theatre. The Chief Guest was Kenya’s Deputy President H.E Dr. William Ruto. He was represented by Ambassador Amina Mohammed, the Cabinet Secretary for Sports and Heritage. The event was also graced by Moroccan Ambassador to Kenya, H.E. Dr. Mokhtar Ghambou. 

Ambassador Amina Mohammed

Ambassador Amina Mohammed (third from right) poses with the awards founder (far right) and other guests. (Press photo).

As is often the case with awards, there were some controversies. To begin with, there were some ties. Sheila Munyiva and Nice Githinji tied for ‘Best Actress’.  Similarly, Ian Mbugua and Bruce Makau tied for ‘Best Actor in a Supporting Role’. Like draws in field matches, an occasional tie is not unusual but it’s rarely satisfying, even for the winners. The inclusion of a category for TV shows also raised some eyebrows. NTV’s The Trend scooped the trophy for ‘Best TV Art and Culture Show’. Finally, Dr. Ezekiel Mutua of the Kenya Film Classification Board winning an award for a category dubbed ‘Best Supporting Individual’ was probably the evening’s most surprising accolade. The KFCB boss has in the past had a testy relationship with artists in general.

The Complete List of 2019 Winners:

BEST PRODUCTION PRIMARY SCHOOL
Forbidden Acts – Kabarak Primary

BEST PRODUCTION SECONDARY SCHOOL
Blast From The Past – Loreto Convent Msongari

BEST PRODUCTION COLLEGE AND UNIVERSITY (Prof. Chris Wanjala Award)
Kenyatta University

BEST PRODUCTION ON CHILD RIGHTS AND PROTECTION
Forbidden – Kabarak Primary

BEST PRODUCTION ON SPOKEN WORD
Ogutu Muraya – Because I Always Love Running

BEST LIVE MUSIC PERFORMANCE – DANIEL PEARL AWARD
Esther Akoth a.k.a Akothee

DISTINGUISHED DIASPORA AWARD (Owiso Odera Award)
Wanjiku Victoria Seest

BEST SUPPORTING MEDIA
Nation Media Group

BEST THEATRE, ART AND CULTURE MAGAZINE
BD Life in Business Daily

BEST ART AND CULTURE WRITER
Caroline Nyanga, Pulse magazine

BEST SUPPORTING INSTITUTION
Alliance Française

BEST PERFORMING THEATRE SPACE
Kenya National Theatre

MOST IMPROVED THEATRE SPACE
Nairobi Film Centre

BEST PRODUCTION ON GOVERNANCE AND HUMAN RIGHTS (Martin Luther King Junior Award)

Son of Agich by Millaz Productions

BEST NARRATIVE THEATRE
Too Early For BirdsTom Mboya Edition

BEST SET LIGHT AND SOUND DESIGN
Sarafina!

BEST COSTUMES
Chatterbox Productions for Lwanda Rockman

BEST TRAGEDY
The Dying Need No Shoes

BEST COMEDY
Cat and Mouse by Heartstrings

BEST DANCE THEATRE
The Anno’s One Fine Day Ballet Program

BEST PLAY IN A LOCAL LANGUAGE
Ambe Wenje by  Fanaka

BEST PRODUCTION ON REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH
Written on the Body

BEST PRODUCTION ON WOMEN RIGHTS AND GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE
Corporate Wife

BEST TV ART AND CULTURE MAGAZINE
The Trend – NTV

BEST DIRECTOR
Stuart Nash – Sarafina!

BEST PLAYWRIGHT
Xavier Nato – Son of Agich by Millaz Productions

BEST PRODUCTION
Lwanda Rockman

BEST MUSICAL THEATRE
Lwanda Rockman

BEST PLAY IN ENGLISH
Lwanda Rockman

BEST PRODUCER
Masuti Mwalimu

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD

Jamal Nassasor
Lucy Wangui
Susan Kadide
Prof. Washington Omondi
Dr. Wanjala

BEST ACTRESS IN SUPPORTING ROLE
Sybil Mukandutiye in Sarafina!

BEST ACTOR IN SUPPORTING ROLE
Ian Mbugua in Man Moments
Bruce Makau in Impervious

BEST ACTRESS
Sheila Munyiva in Sarafina!
Nice Githinji in The Dying Need No Shoes

BEST ACTOR
Xavier Ywaya in Lwanda Rockman

DISTINGUISHED JURY AWARD
David Aliwah

BEST SUPPORTING INDIVIDUAL
Dr. Ezekiel Mutua

 

This post was written by the author in their personal capacity.The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not reflect the view of The Theatre Times, their staff or collaborators.