The vibe was electric and the anticipation real as the list of 50 names were announced as nominees for the 10th Savanna Comics’ Choice Comedy Awards.

There were plenty of cheers, whoops, selfies and camaraderie (and complementary Savanna Cider, of course) as comedians, media and sponsors gathered on the rooftop of the Radisson RED in Rosebank to congratulate and celebrate the nominated comedians and content creators across the 10 categories.

The wait to find out who made the shortlist was finally over. Thabiso Mhlongo and Sifiso Nene lead the pack with three nods each, followed by Nina Hastie, Vafa Naraghi, Robby Collins, Mbali Gudazi, Suhayl Essa and Wazi M Kunene with two nominations each.

Here are the nominees for the 2023 Savanna Comics’ Choice Comedy Awards (in no particular order):

Stand-Up Comedy

Best Solo Show Award

Kagiso KG Mokgadi
Sifiso Nene
Suhayl Essa
Thabiso Mhlongo

Comedy Festival/Show Award

Armchair Comedy Wednesdays
Bioscope Sundays
Extreme Comedy Wednesday
Johannesburg International Comedy Festival
Women in Comedy Show

Savanna Newcomer Award

Mbali Gudazi
Vafa Naraghi
Vision Masango
Wazi M Kunene

Breakthrough Act of the Year Award

Linde Sibanda
Nkosinathi Maki
Nonto R
Suhayl Essa
Thabiso Mhlongo

Comedian of the Year Award

Carvin H Goldstone
Robby Collins
Schalk Bezuidenhout
Sifiso Nene
Siya Seya

Non-English Award
James Chomi Ya Jeso
Nonto R
TT Phasha
Zicco Sithole

Comedic Content

UpLIFTing Comedic Comedy Award

Linde Sibanda
Nina Hastie
Rory Petzer
Tsitsi Chiumya
Vafa Naraghi

Funny Influencer Content

Gino The Craftsman
Mbali Gudazi & Nina Hastie
Robby Collins
Suhayl Essa
Vafa Naraghi

Funny is Funny
Checkers Sixty60
The Courier Guy
King Price Insurance

Sauce of the Year Award

Dillan Oliphant
Sifiso Nene
Thabiso Mhlongo
Wazi M Kunene

Hall of Fame Award Recipient

Alan Committie

The live-streamed nominee announcement media event was the culmination of more than two years of preparation and dedication – and several instrumental changes – to put the awards back on SA’s events calendar, all with sole aim of honouring the best of the country’s stand-up comedians and comedic content creators.

Along with the new voting system, run by an independent third party, the word “comedy” was added to the event’s title, to make it more accessible to the public. Incubator workshops have been launched, the first of which was held alongside the Savanna Newcomer Showcase in Cape Town in February.

Satellite events will also be held in different provinces as much as possible, so that the full industry, nationally, can be a part of it.

The awards are also recruiting from the industry, working with comedians and content creators to run the social media and event co-ordination, and booking comedians to perform and MC shows.

And lastly, Waldo, the awards trophy, has been refashioned. It will be unveiled at the main awards show.

Vote for your favourite and win!

To bring the awards closer to the public, four of the categories now go out for comedy fans to vote for their favourite:
Breakthrough Act of the Year Award
Sauce of the Year Award, Presented by Mrs. Balls
UpLIFTing Comedic Content Award, Presented by LIFT
Funny is Funny Award

Your vote puts you in the running to win an exclusive VIP trip to the awards on 15 April. Go to before 2 April to cast your vote.

Book your seat for the birthday celebration of the year!

The winners will be announced at a glamorous black tie birthday celebration event at The Galleria in Sandton on 15 April 2023. Find out who’ll walk away with one of the 10 awards, whilst being entertained by comedy sketches from your favourite comedians, and celebrity appearances from your favourite stars. It’s going to be quite the night!

The who’s who of SA’s comedy industry will be there, and you could be too. Secure your seat for an incredible awards show and night of laughter and entertainment. Limited tickets are available to the public via Quicket here.

The 10th Savanna Comics’ Choice Comedy Awards is proudly supported by Savanna Premium Cider, LIFT, Mrs. Balls, Me Channel 115, One-eyed Jack, Newsclip and amaSocial.