Perhaps I’ve disguised a rant as a blog, but I’m Misa Narrates and this is my digital space. On April 29, 2020 the South African Film & Television Awards (SAFTAs) were scheduled to be broadcasted live via YouTube. Unfortunately, this never took place, but instead, the winners were announced via Twitter. To say that this was a monumental fail would be an understatement. Especially given that the show was meant to start at 5 PM only to have the winners announced on social media hours later.

Firstly, congratulations to the winners. During a COVID-19 quarantine like our own, moments of celebration make for much enjoyment. However, it is disappointing to see the SAFTAs fail yet again when there was so much opportunity to get things right. For example, pre-recording the SAFTAs using clips from presenters that would have announced the awards if there were a show, then compiling them into a live stream was an option. Alternatively, keeping things simple with an Instagram/Facebook live stream with presenters opting to be added to the live in order to announce the winners was another option. Or better yet, an audio broadcast on Twitter with guests to assist with announcing the winners was an option. Another option would have been to collaborate with a local radio station to broadcast the winners on live radio. This in fact would harken back to the days when every home relied on the radio because they didn’t have a television to watch award shows. Why weren’t these options investigated thoroughly.

Brenda Ngoxoli’s SAFTA acceptance speech

Why were artists given mediocrity yet again, after spending another year of their careers being excellent? What is the problem, or rather who is the problem? Because from where I am viewing the matter, this looks like a clear case of not listening to the world around you. I won’t suggest that the team behind the SAFTAs is incompetent, perhaps it’s the person to whom they report that has not exhibited good leadership and forward-thinking. In the wise words of Shonda Rhymes, by way of Olivia Pope, the fish rots from the head. So perhaps the leader of the SAFTAs award show is to blame for yet another disappointing and underwhelming SAFTA experience.