Two Vaal Triangle residents were last week honoured with 2020 Naledi Theatre Annual Awards
The “Lesedi Spirit of Courage Award” was presented to a leading dancer from the Vuyani Dance Theatre company, Musa Motha, originally from Vereeniging, who lost a leg 12 years ago after a virulent bone cancer.
The Technical Lifetime Achievement Award was awarded to another Vaalie, Graham Brune, veteran retired Stage Manager of the Lyric Theatre. Graham started working for the Vereeniging Theatre in a voluntary capacity in the mid 1970’s until he was permanently employed by the Municipality as the resident Stage Manager – a post he held with pride until 2000 when he resigned.
This change gave him the opportunity to move to Carnival City where he was contracted to work, and then ultimately moved to Gold Reef City in 2003, first as Stage Manager for the Globe and later Technical Manager for the Globe and Lyric Theatre. He held this position until last year when he retired.
Graham can look back at many highlights in his career. He, with others, started the Vereeniging Arts Festival in
1983 – an initiative that became a prestigious annual event for all talented children and adults. Graham was also Chairman of the Vereeniging Operatic and Dramatic Society (VODS) and Tour “Dad” with African Footprint to countries like Germany, Israel and China.
“Dad is our backstage teddy bear but I am told that in his younger days he was actually on the stage too! I believe his last performance was in Fiddler on the Roof in 1981, the year I was born,” says his daughter, Kim Groenewald.
“He has instilled in us not only the love of theatre and the Arts, but also to strive to do something you love every day and to enjoy your job.”
Kim followed in her dad’s footsteps and went on to become the Technical Manager of the “Alabama Studente Geselskap” in 2001 during her varsity days.
* The Lifetime Achievement Award was given to multi-talented Annabel Linder, who has spent almost 60 years in the Industry, and the World Impact Awards was made to one of the most respected and loved playwrights in the world, Athol Fugard.
The “In Memoriam” section of the Naledi Awards was particularly moving this year, says Dawn Lindberg, CEO and Artistic Director of the Naledis. “Many beloved people in our Industry gave their final bows during the year under review, such as Mary Twala and Johnny Clegg.”