Woordtrofees winners 2023

The awardees for the 2023 Toyota SU Woordtrofees Awards were announced on 13 November at an event at the Oude Libertas Amphitheatre. The winners received a certificate and a financial prize.

Gillian Mitchell was the convenor of the Woordtrofees Panel, which consisted of Christiaan Boonzaier, Wendy Crowley, Gustav Franzsen, Kobus Hanekom, Robert Hindley, Suzaan Keyter, Barbara Loots, Mannie Manim, Jackie Manyaapelo, Jill Markram, Wayne Muller, Royston Stoffels, Tsholo Tshilwane, Naudé van der Merwe, Herman van der Westhuizen, Brechmari van Wyk and Ina Wichterich.

“The Woordfees programme,” Mitchell said, “was exceptionally strong and varied this year – a source of both delight and intense contemplation for panel members. The nominations are an exciting reflection of the talent, diversity and creativity that infuses the performing arts in South Africa.

“On behalf of the Woordtrofees Panel we congratulate all nominees and awardees.”

Along with awards for the top book sellers at the EasyEquities Writers’ Festival in four genres (fiction, lifestyle, poetry and non-fiction), a few special prizes were handed out. This included awards for WOW School of the Year and WOW Teacher of the Year.

The winners are:


Top seller: Non-fiction

I Am Ella – Joanne Jowell

Top seller: Lifestyle

Coloured: How Classification Became Culture – Tessa Dooms & Lynsey Chutel

Top seller: Poetry and overall

Soekenjin – Bibi Slippers

Top seller: Fiction

Laaste kans – Marita van der Vyver


Best Achievement: Classical Music – Vocal

As ek…

Best Achievement: Classical Music – Instrumental

Variations on Virtuosity


Best Achievement: Contemporary Music Production – Solo/duo

Amber/Ombré (Amanda Strydom)

Best Achievement: Contemporary Music Production – Group/ensemble

Effervescence: Xamisa, iKapa, Kaapstad


Best Achievement: Dance

Karatara – Production

Best Emerging Artist

David Cyster – Beethoven Triple Concerto (Classical Music)
Melisizwe Plaatjie – Effervescence: Xamisa, iKapa, Kaapstad (Contemporary Music)


In Solidarity Award

Frazer Barry

Through the In Solidarity award, the Toyota SU Woordfees recognizes role players who work across borders, tirelessly and often for little or no compensation, to achieve greater social cohesion in the arts. The In Solidarity Award is made possible with the support of Heineken Beverages.

Former recipients:
2017: Simon Witbooi (HemelBesem)
2018: Janine Neethling
2019: Felicia Lesch
2020: Amelda Brand
2021: Geen toekenning
2022: Lee-Ann van Rooi

WOW Teacher of the Year

Alicetine Fredericks (Kroneberg Primary, Eastern Cape)

WOW School of the Year

Bastiaanse Secondary (Beaufort West, Western Cape)

Best Achievement in Arts Journalism (INK festival paper)
Marchelle van Zyl

Festival heroes

Retha Bornmann and Monique Bowes


Best achievement: Technical

Die vegetariër – Set, Lighting, and Design

Best Achievement: Fringe


Best Achievement: Children’s Theatre

The King of Broken Things

Best Supporting Actor (Male)

Eben Genis – Mirakel

Best Supporting Actor (Female)

Jill Levenberg – Droomwerk

Best Actor (Male)

Mark Elderkin – A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Best Actor (Female)

Sandra Prinsloo – Master Class

Best Achievement: Solo

Kim Blanche Adonis – My Fellow South Africans

Best Ensemble

Droomkraan-kronieke – Cast

Best Director

Geoffrey Hyland – A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Beste Theatre Production

Die vegetariër