Halala! Showmax remains the best place to stream South African content, according to the 2023 SAFTAs.
The 17th SAFTAs were held at Sun City on 29 and 30 September 2023, recognising the best in local productions.
Content on Showmax won 34 awards, the most of any streaming service, with Showmax Originals alone winning 10 SAFTAs.

Tali’s Joburg Diary and Hotel S5 were two of the biggest winners at the SAFTAs overall, tying with four awards each in the comedies category.

Binnelanders and Legacy tied with Scandal! for the most Soapie/Telenovela wins, taking home three awards each.
Here’s the best content in South Africa to stream now, across each of the key categories, all available to binge on Showmax:

Tali’s Joburg Diary – 4 wins including Best Scriptwriting

Showmax Original Tali’s Joburg Diary was looking lush at this year’s SAFTAs, adding another four SAFTAs to the franchise’s 10 SAFTAs so far.

Produced by Sketchbook Studios, Tali’s Joburg Diary is the sequel to the first-ever Showmax Original, Tali’s Wedding Diary and Tali’s Baby Diary, which set a (then) record for the most first-day views on Showmax and were similarly the most awarded comedy at the 2019 and 2022 SAFTAs, taking home five prizes, including Best Comedy.

In Tali’s Joburg Diary, the Shapiro-Nudelmans are forced to take up Tali’s dad’s offer of a bailout after falling on hard times because of lockdown. His only condition? Tali must come home to Joburg, where she’ll be competing with the yummy mummies to get Jayden into the best preschool.

Kate Normington won Best Supporting Actress as Tali’s mother, Michelle. The series also won for Wardrobe (Erin Simon), and Directing (Ari Kruger), and brought home their first-ever award for Scriptwriting (Julia Anastasopoulos, Ari Kruger, Gilli Apter, & Daniel Zimble).

Watch Tali’s Joburg Diary on Showmax here, along with Tali’s Wedding Diary and Tali’s Baby Diary.

Hotel – 4 wins including Best Actor

Hotel brought home the awards for Best Achievement in Sound (Tim Pringle, Giles Heesom-Green & Melani Robertson), Art Direction (Merishen Wessels), Cinematography (Dino Benedetti), and Best Actor (James Borthwick).
The fifth and final season sees the Fransen Hotel re-open after surviving the impact of the global pandemic; it helps when you’re used to not having guests…

James Borthwick scooped his third Best Actor SAFTA as Ferdie, the Fransen’s former manager, who checks in as a guest this season, since his emigration to New Zealand didn’t go quite as planned.

In the SAFTAs’ Best TV Comedy categories, Hotel tied with Showmax Original Tali’s Joburg Diary.
Binge all five seasons of Hotel on Showmax here.

Gaia – Best Feature Film and Director

The kykNET film Gaia (available on Showmax now) brought home four SAFTAs including Best Film, Director, Original Music/Score, and Cinematography.

Monique Rockman plays a forest ranger injured on a routine mission in the Tsitsikamma National Park. She is saved by two off-the-grid survivalists but what starts out as a welcome rescue grows more suspicious as the son and his renegade father reveal a cultish devotion to the forest. When their cabin is attacked, it’s clear there is a far greater threat in this unrelenting wilderness.

Jaco Bouwer (Spinners, 4 Mure) brought home Best Director and Jorrie van der Walt scooped Best Cinematography at the SAFTAs, having won the same category at SXSW, one of the most prestigious film festivals globally. Having already won Best Film at Silwerskerm, among other honours, Gaia has an 85% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes, making Best Horror of the Year lists everywhere from Forbes to Variety.

Watch Gaia on Showmax here.
Want more award-winning local films?
Gambit Films’ Indemnity won Jarrid Geduld his second SAFTA for Best Actor in a Feature Film.

Donkerbos – Best Director and Sound

Showmax Original drama series Donkerbos brought home Best Director (Nico Scheepers) and Sound (Jozua Loots).
Erica Wessels plays Fanie, a detective investigating the murder of six children whose bodies are found in the backwater forests of Donkerbos, Limpopo, with Nicole Holm playing her best friend, Marietjie, and Edwin van der Walt playing a troubled teacher.

The Showmax Original Donkerbos was the only African series selected for the prestigious Berlinale Series Market Selects 2023, which is described as celebrating a “curated series with high market potential.”

Nicole Holm brought home Best Supporting Role from this year’s Silwerskerm Festival Awards for Film and Television, while Edwin van der Walt won Best Actor in a Drama and Erica Wessels won Best Actress.

Need more local drama?

  • Showmax Original epic fantasy Blood Psalms won Best Cinematography for Willem Nel.
  • M-Net’s Desert Rose won Best Make-up and Hairstyling for Marika Callop.

Legacy – Best Telenovela

M-Net and Tshedza Pictures’ Legacy (now on Showmax) scooped three telenovela awards, including Best Telenovela, Actress (Michelle Botes), and Art Direction (Amanda Scholtz).

Set in the fast-lane world of investment billionaires, Legacy follows the Price family after the death of the family patriarch. Co-stars Kgomotso Christopher and Michelle Botes were both up for the Best Actress award, but it looks like Angelique Price had one defeat in store for Dineo Price.

Binge both seasons of Legacy on Showmax, which is also the place to stream The River, Showmax Original Telenovela The Wife, Arendsvlei, DiepCity, and Diepe Waters S1 (coming 5 October 2023).

Need more soaps & telenovelas?

  • kykNET’s Suidooster won Best Achievement in Sound for TV Soap/Telenovela (Lloyd O’Connor) and Best Directing (Erina Niemand, Shirley Ellis, Romano Gorlei, Richard September, Suidooster Films)
  • kykNET’s Diepe Waters won Best Editing (Paul Martin van Wyk, Marthinus van Rhyn, Khathu Mudau, Wynand Verster, Rick Dodgen, and Daniel de Villiers) and Best Scriptwriting (Nontuthuzelo Magoxo, Mandla N and Mpumelelo Nhlapo).
  • Showmax Original telenovela The Wife scooped the Best Scriptwriting award (Fikile Mogodi).
  • The River’s Lawrence Maleka was named Best Actor, racking up another win for Tshedza Pictures.
  • Mzansi Magic’s Goroma’s Thulani Mtsweni brought home Best Supporting Actor.
  • And Binnelanders brought home three big soap awards including Best Actress (Cindy Swanepoel), Supporting Actress (Odelle De Wet), and Supporting Actor (Charlie Bouguenon).

Life With Kelly Khumalo S3 – Best Soapie Reality TV

Life With Kelly Khumalo S3 won Best Structured Soapie Reality Show at the SAFTAs.
Her vocal highness Kelly Khumalo lets audiences into her life in this Showmax Original. Season 3 picks up in April 2022 with #KellyKhumalo trending on Twitter again, with the release of a true-crime documentary series about the death of Senzo Meyiwa and his trial about to start. As Kelly says in the trailer, “They hate the fact that I am the one who did not die that day.”

A household name by 21, with nearly 2.5m followers on Instagram alone, Kelly has been named Best Female Artist at the South African Music Awards, sold millions of albums, and opened for Grammy winner Missy Elliott. This is the second SAFTA for Kelly in this category, after Life With Kelly Khumalo won the 2021 SAFTA for Best Soap Structured Reality TV Show.

Watch Life with Kelly Khumalo S3 here.

Watch the trailer – https://www.showmax.com/eng/tvseries/6eq8xsxt-the-river

Sex in Afrikaans – Best Structured or Docu-Reality Show

Sex in Afrikaans brought home a sexy SAFTA for Showmax and production house Provoco.

Are Afrikaans people really conservative when it comes to sex? Through candid interviews with couples, singles and people in the sex industry, this show explores what’s acceptable and what’s taboo after dark.
This eye-opening Showmax Original documentary (which launched on Valentine’s Day in 2022) goes where no series has gone before, uncovering the truth about the passions and the proclivities of Afrikaners.

Sex in Afrikaans set a new record for the most first-day views of any Afrikaans title on Showmax ever, ahead of Devilsdorp. Channel24’s Gabi Zietsman gave it five stars, calling it “an incredibly brave show” and “a great conversation starter, especially for anyone who doesn’t know how to start those talks with their partners… It creates a safe space both on and off the screen.”

Watch Sex in Afrikaans here.

Need more reality and lifestyle?

For the full list of winners, visit https://www.nfvf.co.za/saftas17-winners-list/

Showmax keeps winning!

Showmax is home to children’s animated feature The Smeds and the Smoos (based on the book by The Gruffalo’s Julia Donaldson), and rugby documentary Two Sides, both of which have been nominated for this year’s International Emmy Awards, which take place on 20 November.


To see everything on Showmax in October 2023, including the Showmax Original true crime series Boetie Boer (launching 18 October), click here.
Let us know if you want a free three-month Showmax trial voucher to watch any of these.

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