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Thursday, September 27, 2018


(The winners of the competition. Pic by Val Adamson)

The 21st annual Iscathamiya Competition presented by The Playhouse Company, an agency of the Department of Arts and Culture, was held in The Opera Theatre on September 22, 2018. Starting at 18h00 and running through the night with prize-giving early on Sunday, the popular landmark event draw large crowds of supporters, who flocked to the venue in support of the competing groups. These totalled 100 in number, coming from all over KwaZulu-Natal and beyond.

The groups competed in three categories, Open Section (50), Standard (30) and Top (20). In addition, 55 individuals competed in the fashion component of the competition, comprising Onebuhle (ladies) and Oswenka (men). Prize money totalling R209,700 was awarded across the board to the winning competitors.

The winners were as follows:

Category 1: Standard - (30 Groups)
1. Isiphiwo (Mzinyathi)
2. Combination Home Boys (Amajuba)
3. Iphupho Lami (Umzinyathi)

Category 2: Top - (20 Groups)  
1. Zulu Messengers (Durban)
2. James Black Birds (Harry Gwala)
3. SA Action Boys (Bizana)

Category 3: Onobuhle Junior - (15 Participants)  
1. Ayanda Ngcobo (Umgungundlovu)
2. Thembeka  Ntusi (Uthukela)
3. Nomathemba Khumalo (Umzinyathi)

Category 4: Onobuhle Senior
1. Zinhle Sithole (eGoli)
2. Ngenzeni ntanzi (Ethekwini)
3. Joyce Mpofana (Ethekwini)

Category 5: Oswenka Junior – (10 Participants)
1. Siyabonga Thusini (eGoli)
2. Mfihlakalo Ngobese (Umzinyathi)
3. Mduduzi Thusini (eGoli)

Category 6 : Oswenka Senior – 20 Participants 
1. Jotham Dlamini (Umzinyathi)
2. Joseph Mahlobo (Ethekwini)
3. Sipho Xulu (Zululand)

Category 7: Open Section – (50 Groups)  
1. Ubumbano Home Boys (Harry Gwala)
2. Lucky Boys (Ugu)
3. Ukuthula Home Boys (Harry Gwala)

Imbuzi (goat): presented to the best group chosen by the adjudicators
1. Umkhumbane A (Ethekwini)

Commenting on the event, Ms Linda Bukhosini, Playhouse Company CEO and Artistic Director, said:  “We are proud of our role in enabling Iscathamiya to reach a wide public arena. We work closely with the Iscathamiya community, whose rigorous ethical practice governs the selection process of the prize-winners that emerge from each year’s competition.  True to the nature of the genre, the event is characterised by a healthy spirit of enjoyment among the groups and individuals competing with each other. In a spirit of nation building, Iscathamiya upholds community morality, hence the theme of this year’s competition was “Peace in our land.”