Maverick Life


Tenderpreneur wins R500-million government tender — Acknowledging this year’s contentious movers and shakers

Tenderpreneur wins R500-million government tender — Acknowledging this year’s contentious movers and shakers
Get ready for the inaugural annual SASSYFLOPs. Image design: Malibongwe Tyilo

This is a truly great day for our country!!!!

My fellow fans of the great South Africa Sh** Show (Sass), my Phala-Phala pals, my EFF BFFs, my Zuma-Zamas and Zealous Zillettes. I have some amazing news to share with you. In its ever-exemplary support of arts and culture, our government recently planned to advertise a R500-million tender for an all-new annual awards show, the South Africa Sh** Show Yearlys For Laudible Outstanding Performances, the Sassyflops if you will. These will be awarded to those most outstanding actors who have featured in the last 30 seasons of Sass

In a fleeting moment of patriotism, and as the country’s most important living or unliving film critic, it became clear to me that I and I alone were being called to serve my country. I got on my knees and prayed to the Lord that His will be done. Sensing that my prayers had been heard and that indeed, it was the Lord’s will that I serve my country in this manner, I quietly got in touch with each member of the government’s tender approval committee and offered them a small donation as a token of my appreciation for their faith in this divine mission, to be deposited in theirs or a relative’s bank account once the Sassyflop funds had been deposited into my account. 

My faith in the Lord and the government did not fail me; the “5” followed by some eight zeroes that landed in my account this morning is evidence enough. As one opposed to the wasteful expenditure of public funds, I have decided that I will bear this burden alone. I alone will be the organising committee and judging panel for the inaugural Sassyflops. 

Hence, I am writing this letter, to ask you, my fellow patriots, to assist me in putting together this great moment for our people, to give freely of your time and ideas, untainted by desire for remuneration or any misguided ideas of broad-based economic empowerment, so that we can make these awards a reality. Even the paler-phalas among you are welcome to contribute. Think of the Sassyflops as a project for the benefit of “some of the people, by all of the people”. Leading by example, I have already been hard at work conceptualising some of the award categories. Please add freely to these my dear comrades.

The Johungersburg Games Award for Brevity in Performance

This award recognises those actors who made their mark in front of the camera in the shortest time possible. Fans of Sass-copycat shows such as Game of Thrones, might be familiar with key characters unexpectedly losing their heads. Well, GoT has nothing on Sass. As demonstrated in recent Sass seasons, when you play for the top position in The Johungersburg Games, don’t give up your day job skattie, and don’t bother decorating your office. Scholars of the Lesufian method might even say “your days are numbered”. It is my hope that this award will be co-presented by the actors behind two memorable Sass characters, Mpho Phalatse and Thapelo Amad. 

The Bheki C Award for Failing Upwards

I’ve long subscribed to the school of thought that says that failure is a matter of perception. Film has repeatedly sought out linear narratives whose heroes demonstrate simple concepts of success, hero’s journeys and such. Sass storylines have shown us that this need not be so. That one can, year after year, produce results seemingly worse than the previous year on paper. This award recognises those actors, who portray characters that continuously fumble their way to ever higher positions, reminding us that, merit is perhaps best left to rugby players and other athletes.

The Phakeng Award for Anti-Racism

Some performances bring us all together, but separately. I don’t have a word for it, but it’s sort of like all people being together but apart, a sort of aparthood mentality one might say. This award recognises those actors who performances support, uplift, and perpetuate this ‘unity in aparthood’ mentality.

The Phala-Phala Award 

This will likely be the hardest one to award, there are just so many potential recipients. It recognises and honours those actors who have exceeded in their portrayal of ambiguous characters. These characters seem like morally upright types at first, untainted by greed and corruption. Yet, the nuanced portrayal by a gifted actor leaves you with a lingering feeling that they sit unbothered atop a murderous criminal cartel, rotten to the very core. As the good book says, “You will know them by the fruits of their inaction”. 

The Pandor Award for Unfukkinbelievable performance on the world stage

Some truly talented actors will surprise at every turn and leave your jaw on the floor. They seem to have a unique way of injecting horror into their performance no matter the film’s genre. Their powerful character portrayals will have you shouting and swearing at the screen. The choices their characters make will make you so angry you forget that you’re watching a piece of fiction. You’ll feel so helpless watching them fumble everything they touch, that all you can really do is repeatedly scream “Unfukkinbelievable!” as you scream into your pillow.

The Steenhuisen ‘are u still here’ Award for durational performance art

The shock that comes with the sudden disappearance of beloved characters from one’s favourite show might lead some viewers to anticipate the disappearance of minor characters with unexciting storylines. Yet, season after season, they come back, as far more interesting characters lose their spots, reminding us that the dull and ineloquent too have their place. Perhaps slow and steady really does win the race. 

The Mashatile Award for What The Actual F!?!?

This accolade recognises those actors who bring something of the arthouse non-linear style of storytelling to life. You’re never quite sure what is going on as you watch them, but such is the power of their performance that it fills you with an ominous dread. You look into their eyes and you get the sense that in preparation for the performance, they’ve reached deep into the darkest depths of their souls and embodied the worst kind of evil, all for your entertainment of course. 

Your turn comrades

The above are just a few initial ideas for the categories my fellow patriots. While your understanding of the finer nuances of filmmaking might be 500 million times inferior to mine, I encourage you to take a chance and jot down some ideas for further award categories, as well as potential nominees for the above as well as any other categories you might come up with. Please send these to me at [email protected] before December 2023, when I as the organising committee and judging panel will announce the final categories and nominees and winners for the inaugural Sassyflops. Sadly, I won’t be organising an actual event to celebrate the winners this year, as the funds from the tender were only sufficient to cover my flights and accommodation for Dubai, Paris, and New York, where I will be spending the next few months for research purposes. However, trust that I will write to you once again to announce the winners. DM


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