About the Sophie Mgcina Emerging Voices Award

Lesedi Job
(2017 Winner)

Sonia Thandazile Radebe
(2016 Winner)

Dominique Khayelihle
(2015 Winner)

Lulu Mlangeni
(2014 Winner)

The Sophie Mgcina Emerging Voice Award is presented each year by the Market Theatre Foundation to leading young creatives who excel in their careers and to affirm the Market Theatre’s commitment to unearth and support young talent. The recipient of the Sophie Mgcina Emerging Voice Award receives the invaluable opportunity to present a work on one of the Market Theatre’s stages.The Award is presented at a ceremony each year on 19th July at the Market Theatre to coincide with the anniversary of the opening of this historic and iconic South African institution.

During her celebrated career, Sophie Mgcina made a lasting impression in 1980 when she performed in the premiere of The Long Journey of Poppie Nongena , the play adapted from Elsa Joubert’s famed book Die Swerfjare van Poppie Nongena. Not only did she play two leading roles but she also composed and directed the music for the production. The production toured to New York that same year and then again at the Edinburgh Festival in 1983, followed by a world tour in 1984. In New York Mgcina was given an Obie Award for best achievement, and was nominated for the Laurence Olivier Award for best supporting actress.

The sustained excellence of Sophie Mgcina’s extensive and versatile body of work and illustrious career in South Africa and internationally earned her the reputation of being a doyenne of South Africa ‘s performing arts. It is fitting that the Market Theatre Foundation’s Sophie Mgcina Emerging Voice Award, presented each year on 19th July to coincide with the Market Theatre’s birthday  is named in honour of this prolific actress, singer and teacher who was an inspiration for those to whom she has passed on her knowledge and sense of dedication.