Bongile Mantsai wins big at virtual Saftas

Scandal! actor Bongile Mantsai won big at the South African Film and Television Awards (Saftas) last night with two key gongs.

Mantsai's two more golden horn trophies added to his growing collection to make it three - having won before for his role in controversial film Inxeba two years ago. He won Best Actor in TV Soap for his villainous role of Mthunzi Mayisa, beating industry heavyweights Jamie Bartlett (Rhythm City) and Nathaniel Ramabulana (Muvhango).

Mantsai also scooped Best Actor in Feature Film for his portrayal in boxing movie Knuckle City.

"This is amazing. It's always an honour to be celebrated," Mantsai told Sowetan.

"I've been thinking a lot about being nominated against Bra Bartlett.

"He has been doing this for years and this is the year that he left Rhythm City after so many years.

" I grew up watching him and I never thought I'd be nominated against him.

"The first time I won at the Saftas I was miserable because of all these negative things that were said about Inxeba. Now I feel different because there is no dark cloud. My work is just being celebrated."

Mantsai's Scandal! co-star Kgomosto Christopher won her second consecutive Safta for the same role of Yvonne Langa. She received Best Supporting Actress in TV Soap, beating Petronella Tshuma (Rhythm City) and Xolile Tshabalala (Muvhango).

Christopher will depart the role of Yvonne in June.

"This role has meant so many things for me. For starters, seeing Kgomotso Christopher in a different light, sharing a comedic aspect of my craft and my ability to stretch into various characters," Christopher said.

"Having played this iconic character I had to make the decision to move forward and see what is next."

Perennial favourite Sindi Dlathu (The River) won Best Actress in Telenovela, while Loyiso MacDonald (The Queen) scooped Best Actor in Telenovela and Mncedisi Shabangu (Rhythm City) received Best Supporting Actor in TV Soap.

Best TV Soap went to Rhythm City and The River scooped Best Telenovela for a second consecutive year.

Leleti Khumalo's e.tv show Imbewu: The Seed received the honour of the public- voted Most Popular TV Soap/Telenovela.

In the TV drama categories, winners included The Republic stars Florence Masebe (Best Actress) and Seputla Sebogodi (Best Supporting Actor); eHostela leading man Wiseman Mncube (Best Actor) as well as iThemba cast-member Brenda Ngxoli (Best Supporting Actress). The Republic won Best TV Drama, beating last year's winner Lockdown.

TV and film veteran Clementine Mosimane scooped Best Actress in Feature Film for playing Poppie Nongena. For the first time in their 14-year history, the Saftas took place online as a result of the Covid-19 lockdown and were hosted by Dineo Ranaka.

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