JOMBA! Open Horizons winners announced

In honor of its 25th anniversary, the JOMBA! Contemporary Dance Experience proudly unveiled the winners of the JOMBA! Open Horizons “pick of the platform” awards for 2023. The announcement took place on Sunday, September 3, via the festival’s YouTube Channel, where the program can be viewed throughout the festival until September 10, 2023.

The JOMBA! Contemporary Dance Experience, celebrating 25 years this year, announced its JOMBA! Open Horizons “pick of the platform” awards for 2023 on Sunday 3 September. The programme was screened on the festival’s YouTube Channel and remains available for the remainder of the festival until 10 September here: ( 

The platform encourages submissions from dance-makers across Africa and South Africa and has been a platform for artists, new and established, to create and develop new and original work for participation on JOMBA!’s international stage.  Through an open call for submissions of work between 3 – 8min in length which are then vetted by an independent jury, JOMBA!’s Open Horizons platform offers a smorgasbord of new works across a variety of themes showcasing emerging and established voices for local and international audiences.

Following jury deliberations around the submissions received for 2023, six dance films were selected for inclusion on our Open Horizons platform, showcasing work from across South Africa and also including a work from Kenya.  The works offer a diverse range of dance styles, forms and themes made for digital engagement.

Three of the six dance-films were selected for “pick-of-the-platform” awards with Cape Town’s Oscar O’Ryan taking top honours and a monetary prize of R3000 for their NOT FROM HERE described by the artist as “an ode to the unique South African Karoo landscape”.  Juror Tracey Saunders applauded the work for its “exquisite styling and sense of place” while fellow juror Shanelle Jewnarain commended the film’s expert crafting where “concept meets execution perfectly!”

Taking second place with its R2000 award is Kenyan Maulid Owino’s work When time stops. Owino who is founder and artistic director of Dance Unites is no stranger to the platform, having had his work screened as part of the 2021 iteration of JOMBA! Open Horizons. When time stops is a work that plays with the fleetingness of time and jurors commented on the artful use of transitions in driving character and narrative forward.

Durban-based Tshediso Kabulu’s Exorcism took third place with R1000. Kabulu who is no stranger to Durban’s stages and screens offers a work that he says explores “the pursuit of liberation, healing, and the ultimate freedom to live in the present moment”.  Juror David April commented on the expressiveness of Kabulu’s performance in lending itself to the articulated narrative.

Also included on the programme are Cape Town-based Kamogelo Dooka’s thoughtful The Tormented Crown alongside sister Capetonian Zandile Salukazana’s evocative Wake Up and Bloemfontein’s inimitable Thamsanqa Majela who offers his emotive IN SANE.

The Festival offers a range of workshops, residencies, talks and performances and runs until 10 September. Tickets are available through Computicket.

Related Posts

Related Articles