The award ceremony

Mmabatho Montsho, South Africa, 2019

8 minutes, Setswana, SeSotho, isiZulu, English with English subtitiles

Princess Mahakwe (Kgalalelo Mfokazane) spends much of her time parenting herself. We meet Princess preparing herself for a prestigious event, the school awards ceremony, where she will be receiving top honors. Princess’ worst nightmare is walking across the stage in her weathered and broken school shoes. She is confident, however, that her grandmother (Sindi Montsho) will meet her at the school gates with a brand new shoes, just in time for the prestigious ceremony. However, Thandi is on the other side of town in her own nightmare. She has not received her wages in weeks and has not yet bought the school shoes. Will Thandi make it to school in time? Or will Princess have to face her worst nightmare?


Mmabatho Montsho is a multi-disciplinary storyteller who transitioned to positions behind the lens, in search of the fulfilment of her true passion – screenwriting and directing — garnering multiple plaudits. She has had multiple South African Film and Television Awards(SAFTA) nominations for directing, is a co-recipient of the Mbokodo Award for filmmaking and a SAFTA winner for Best Achievement in Scriptwriting for a Drama Series. Her recent short films, Joko Ya Hao and The Award Ceremony have enjoyed selection with The Award Ceremony winning Best Short Film at the Worldwide Women’s Film Festival 2020 in the USA, and Joko Ya Hao being nominated for Best Short Film at the South African Film and Television Awards 2020. Mmabatho worked as a script consultant and development mentor with the MNET Magic in Motion Academy for several years. Her solo exhibition, Manyano, that ran through Women’s Month at Constitutional Hill in the Women’s Jail was hailed as “Visionary”, “Exquisitely Nostalgic” and “Deeply Spiritual”. The exhibition. Mmabatho’s work hones in on the essence of everyday existence, the beauty, agony and politics of what it means to be a black woman in South Africa today.

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