Click here for 2015 Categories & Nominees

2016 Categories

Traditional & Indigenous Art

This is a category that identifies young women with the potential to make a significant contirbution, not just to the art world, but to women's struggles more broadly. It rewards women who engage with, and subvert, stereotpyes about gender and race.


This category celebrates fiction and biography, and also acknowledges important prose that speaks to the struggles of women in society. It honours creativity, imagination and originality. It acknowledges writers who are committed to their craft and strive to promote the genre.


This category celebrates published and performance poets utilising deep creative imagination and originality. It recognises poets who demonstrate commitment to promoting this art form in a variety of platforms.

Rising Light

This is a category that identifies young women with the potential to make a significant contribution, not just to the art world, but to women's struggles more broadly. It rewards women who engage with, and subvert, stereotpyes about gender and race.

Visual Art

This category celebrates sculptors, painters, performance artists and curators who creatively expand our conceptions of form and subject matter, and utilise materials in original and innovative ways. It also celebrates artists who venture into new frontiers and demonstrate deep imagination and originality, and whose owrk reaches beyond our borders.

Fashion and Design

This category celebrates design across a number of disciplines, including architecture, interior design, clothing and accessories. It honours women whose designs are imaginative, striking and original, that add beauty and interest to our living and working spaces as well as to our environment. It also celebrates designers who are opening visual doors for women and who are promoting a South African aesthetic at home and internationally.


In this category we celebrate classical, popular and traditional dancers and promoters of dance who creatively push the boundaries of their genre into new levels. Whether it is Pantsula, Ballet or any other form, these artists embrace and excel in their chosen genre thus becoming synonymous with the art form itself.


Opera could easily be the most misunderstood art in South Africa, always viewed as foreign. This category celebrates the “pioneers” who ventured into this art form and have given it the recognition it deserves within our society, as well as those who have created spaces for themselves on the world stage. It also honours artists who have pushed the boundaries of the genre.


This category honours women who push the boundaries of the genre and create new and exciting theatre performances of high standards. It also celebrates those who relentlessly and successfully promote this genre.


The film industry is complex and requires a variety of intricate collaborations and negotiations. Women in Film celebrates women’s contribution to the development of, and on-going participation in, South Africa’s fledgling film industry.


For a long time jazz was seen as a male domain. This category honours and celebrates women who have entered and contributed significantly to the world of jazz either through their performance, or through their involvement in the management and promotion of Jazz.


The category celebrates musicians, across musical genres, who demonstrate a deep commitment to Africa and its traditions, and who are original and innovative in their art form. It also recognises leading vocalists and instrumentalists involved in traditional music, other than African, who contribute to the diverse musical idioms of our nation. In addition this category recognises women who make an outstanding contributing producing, facilitating and organising performers.

Women in Media

In a country grappling with profound socio-economic challenges, art and culture are often placed at the periphery of the public discourse. This category celebrates women who, through their work and practice, strive to promote art and publicise its crucial role in building a cohesive society.

Girl Child of Promise

We are increasingly confronted by young girls who show exceptional promise in the arts, and this category seeks to recognise and encourage these young women to pursue their dreams. It values the role played by them as role models for their peers.

Lifetime Achievement Award

This is a special category awarded in recognition of consistently high quality work done over a lifetime. It is dedicated to enduring icons whose staying power and commitment is exemplary and to artists whose singular contribution to our culture is deeply felt. This award also celebrates outstanding work done by South African artists beyond the borders of South Africa.

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