And the Droscar goes to … it’s an epic year for our political actors
The winners were clear in the ancient art of play-acting in return for power and money
Mr President, honoured guests, dishonoured guests, ladies, gentlemen, rogues and toadies: welcome to the Very Obvious Political Theatre for this, the 25th Academy of Political Dark Arts and Sophistry Awards, or, as we affectionately know them, the Droscars.
This year the Academy saw scores of superb performances, taking to unbelievable heights the ancient art of play-acting in return for power and money. But in the end, the winners were clear.
And so, with no further ado, it gives me great pleasure to announce the 2019 Droscars!
Best Song: All The Beans, written and performed by Angelo Agrizzi. Critics were unanimous: Agrizzi sang like a canary, beating out tough competition like Gavin Watson’s catchy crowd-pleaser, Hakuna Bosasa, and Lady Gaga’s Shallow, a heartbreaking ballad about AfriForum’s historical awareness.
Best Animated Feature: Cyril Ramaphosa Is A Sellout. Written, directed and voiced by Mosiuoa Lekota, this cartoon fantasy sees a political has-been lunging for relevance by making a wild claim, with hilarious results. A perfect film for anyone under 10, or any of the 180,000 people who vote for Lekota.
Best Original Screenplay: New Dawn. Loosely based on Stephanie Meyer’s Breaking Dawn, New Dawn also features vampires fighting werewolves in a moody and mysterious location, in this case Luthuli House. Will Team Cyril maintain its supremacy, or will Team Jacob counterattack and reclaim its place at the top of the predator pile?
Best Adapted Screenplay: Expropriation Without Compensation. Based on a dystopian fantasy novel self-published by the EFF in its mom’s basement, EWC was expropriated without compensation by the ANC and turned into this year’s bloated, vague fairy-tale about how a state that can’t keep the lights on suddenly gains the capacity to transfer large chunks of land to new owners. Studio rumours suggest that EWC is the first part of a trilogy, to be followed just before the election in 2024 with No, Really, We’re Still Going To Expropriate Land, while 2029’s Seriously, It’s Still A Real Policy will bring the story to a quiet, ignominious end.
Best Editing: the Democratic Alliance, for its work on No, Helen Didn’t Mean That, And It Wasn’t A Stand-Off With Patricia, We Totally Won That, And Mmusi Really Is A Charismatic Leader, And Gwen Who?, crafting a coherent story of denial out of umpteen implausible fragments.
Best Supporting Actor: Floyd Shivambu. Forever the bridesthug and never the bride, Shivambu has struggled to seize the spotlight, mostly because it is very hot and he keeps burning his hands. Not blessed with the acting skill of long-time collaborator Julius Malema, Shivambu has, however, finally found his niche, bringing a rugged physicality to his role in I Am A Big, Red, Steaming Number Two. (The Academy would like to thank VBS Bank for sponsoring this year’s Best Supporting Actor category.)
Best Director: Cyril Ramaphosa, for his controversial blockbuster, frANCenstein, in which a reclusive billionaire tries to bring a dead and rotting liberation movement back to life. Critics were hugely polarised over the film, mainly because it doesn’t have a third act: we don’t find out of the frANCenstein monster will find peace and die a natural death, or whether its fetid components will lead it to fall down the well and poison the village’s water.
Best Actor: Julius Malema. A true chameleon, Malema has shown once again that he can transform himself into anything if offered enough money. He first burst to prominence as the violent incendiary lickspittle in 2007’s I’ll Kill For Zuma, but his new role as a righteous pro-poor revolutionary is perhaps his most extraordinary yet, given that he is a very wealthy urbanite in his private life. Look out for the May release of his latest film, Yes We’re Still A Distant Third But We’ll Almost Definitely Be In Government In 2024, or 2029, Although Does It Really Matter When You’re Earning R1m A Year For Reciting The Same Lines Over And Over Again?
Best Actress: Patricia de Lille, for GOOD. Few political actors have gone so far with so little, and in GOOD, veteran De Lille takes that empty tank and sets it on fire in a stunning performance resonating with self-confidence and raw denial. GOOD is not a major commercial offering – it will probably deliver very small numbers – but it’s as impossible to ignore as roadkill or a naked person wandering into an all-night shop and yelling: “Vote for me!”
Best Picture: Zondo! This old-fashioned epic, boasting a cast of hundreds in a classic battle between good and evil, is the uplifting story of hope we need in this time of cynicism and despair. Five stars.
There is, however, something better than five stars: five years. Maybe five to 10. Without parole.
Swapping tuxes and gowns for orange overalls: now that’s the awards ceremony we all deserve.