Photo: Getty.

Issa Rae.

Viola Davis, Doja Cat, Issa Rae, Wizkid And More Win at the 2021 NAACP Image Awards

Check out the full 2021 NAACP Image Awards winners list spanning the best Black entertainers across television, music, film and literature.

The NAACP Image Awards winners have been announced. This comes after the award show took place virtually this past Saturday. Winners of this year's most acclaimed award for people of colour includes Issa Rae, Doja Cat, Viola Davis, Wizkid, Regé-Jean Page and more.

Read: Here are the 2021 NAACP Image Awards Nominees

Davis bagged the "Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series" for How to Get Away with Murder. On the other hand, Rae took home the "Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series" award for Insecure. The Zimbabwean-born British actor ,Page, won an award for his lead acting performance in the Netflix hit Bridgerton. The Black-ish cast and crew swept through with numerous television award wins. Marsai Martin grabbed two notable wins for "Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series" and "Outstanding Performance by a Youth".

According to Billboard, the music category was dominated by Beyoncé as she was awarded "Outstanding Female Artist" for "Black Parade". She added three more wins with the "Savage remix" with Megan Thee Stallion which won two separate awards. "Brown Skin Girl" featuring WizKid, SAINt JHN and Blue Ivy Carter won "Best Visual Album". The "Outstanding New Artist" award went to rapper and singer Doja Cat for her hit sinlge "Say So".

Ma Rainey's Black Bottom dominated the motion picture category. Chadwick Boseman continues to posthumously receive awards for his outstanding performance in the film. Additionally, he was accoladed for his role in Spike Lee's Da 5 Bloods. Davis snatched the "Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture" award and the cast collectively won the "Outstanding Ensemble award".

The 52nd NAACP awards were held in Burbank Californa with only a small number of attendees from nominees and the NAACP. Most of the nominees received awards from their homes. Alicia Keys, Swizz Beats, Misty Copeland and Tracy Morgan presented awards virtually. Jasmine Sullivan and Maxwell jazzed up the show with performances of their songs.

Below is the complete list of the 52nd NAACP Awards winners:

Hall of Fame Award
Eddie Murphy

Entertainer of the Year

Chairman's Award
Rev. D. James Lawson

Presidents Award
LeBron James

Social Justice Impact
Stacey Abrams

Motion Pictures

Outstanding Motion Picture
Bad Boys For Life

Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture
Viola Davis – Ma Rainey's Black Bottom

Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture
Chadwick Boseman – Ma Rainey's Black Bottom

Outstanding supporting actor in a motion picture
Chadwick Boseman - Da 5 Bloods

Outstanding supporting actress in a motion picture
Phylicia Rashad - Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey

Outstanding ensemble cast in a motion picture
Ma Rainey's Black Bottom

Outstanding breakthrough performance in a motion picture
Madalen Mills - Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey

Outstanding breakthrough creative (motion picture)
Nadia Hallgren - Becoming

Outstanding independent motion picture
The Banker

Outstanding international motion picture

Outstanding writing in a motion picture
Radha Blank - The Forty-Year-Old Version

Outstanding directing in a motion picture
Gina Prince-Bythewood - The Old Guard

Outstanding animated motion picture

Outstanding documentary (film)
John Lewis: Good Trouble

Outstanding short-film (live action
Black Boy Joy

Outstanding short-film (animated)

Outstanding character voice-over performance - motion picture
Jamie Foxx - Soul


Outstanding female artist
Beyoncé - "Black Parade"

Outstanding male artist
Drake - "Laugh Now, Cry Later"

Outstanding duo, group or collaboration (traditional)
Chloe x Halle - "Wonder What She Thinks Of Me"

Outstanding duo, group or collaboration (contemporary)
Megan Thee Stallion feat. Beyoncé - "Savage Remix"

Outstanding album
Chilombo -- Jhené Aiko

Outstanding soul/R&B song
"Do It" - Chloe x Halle

Outstanding hip hop/rap song
"Savage Remix" - Megan Thee Stallion feat. Beyoncé

Outstanding new artist
Doja Cat - "Say So"

Outstanding producer of the year

Outstanding music video/visual album
"Brown Skin Girl" - Beyonce' feat WizKid, SAINt JHN, Blue Ivy Carter

Outstanding soundtrack/compilation album
Soul original motion picture soundtrack - Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross, Jon Batiste and Tom MacDougall

Outstanding gospel/Christian song
"Touch From You" - Tamela Mann

Outstanding gospel/Christian album
The Return - The Clark Sisters

Outstanding jazz album - instrumental
Music from and Inspired by Soul - Jon Batiste

Outstanding jazz album - vocal
Holy Room - Live at Alte Oper - Somi

Outstanding international song
"Lockdown" - Original Koffee


Outstanding drama series
Power Book II: Ghost

Outstanding comedy series

Outstanding talk series
Red Table Talk

Outstanding reality program/reality competition or game show
Celebrity Family Feud

Outstanding variety show (series or special)

Outstanding news/information (series or special)
The New York Times Presents The Killing of Breonna Taylor

Outstanding children's program
Family Reunion

Outstanding animated series
Doc McStuffins

Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series
Regé-Jean Page – Bridgerton

Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series
Viola Davis – How To Get Away With Murder

Outstanding supporting actor in a drama series
Clifford "Method Man" Smith - Power Book II: Ghost

Outstanding supporting actress in a drama series
Mary J. Blige - Power Book II: Ghost

Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series
Issa Rae – Insecure

Outstanding actor in a comedy series
Anthony Anderson - black-ish

Outstanding supporting actor in a comedy series
Deon Cole - black-ish

Outstanding supporting actress in a comedy series
Marsai Martin - black-ish

Outstanding performance by a youth (series, special, television movie or limited-series)
Marsai Martin - black-ish

Outstanding writing in a comedy series
Michaela Coel - I May Destroy You - Ep. 112 "Ego Death"

Outstanding writing in a drama series
Attica Locke - Little Fires Everywhere - Ep. 104 "The Spider Web"

Outstanding writing in a television movie or special
Geri Cole - The Power of We: A Sesame Street Special

Outstanding directing in a comedy series
Anya Adams - black-ish - Ep. 611 "Hair Day"

Outstanding directing in a drama series
Hanelle Culpepper - Star Trek: Picard - Ep. 101 "Remembrance"

Outstanding directing in a television movie or special
Eugene Ashe - Sylvie's Love

Outstanding short form series - comedy or drama

Outstanding performance in a short form series
Laurence Fishburne - #FreeRayshawn

Outstanding short form series - reality/nonfiction
"Between The Scenes" - The Daily Show with Trevor Noah

Outstanding documentary (television - series or special)
The Last Dance

Outstanding character voice-over performance (television)
Laya DeLeon Hayes - Doc McStuffins

Outstanding television movie, limited-series or dramatic special
Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam C.J. Walker

Outstanding actor in a television movie, limited-series or dramatic special
Blair Underwood - Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam C.J. Walker

Outstanding actress in a television movie, limited-series or dramatic special
Octavia Spencer - Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam C.J. Walker

Outstanding host in a talk or news/information (series or special) – individual or ensemble
Trevor Noah - The Daily Show with Trevor Noah

Outstanding host in a reality/reality competition, game show or variety (series or special) – individual or ensemble
Steve Harvey - Celebrity Family Feud

Outstanding guest performance - comedy or drama series
Loretta Devine- P-Valley

Outstanding breakthrough creative (television)
Raynelle Swilling - Cherish the Day

Television or Motion Picture

Outstanding directing in a documentary (television or motion picture)
Keith McQuirter - By Whatever Means Necessary: The Times of Godfather of Harlem

Outstanding writing in a documentary (television or motion picture)
Melissa Haizlip - Mr. SOUL!

Outstanding literary works

The Awkward Black Man - Walter Mosley

A Promised Land - Barack Obama

Debut author
We're Better Than This - Elijah Cummings

The Dead Are Arising - Les Payne, Tamara Payne

Vegetable Kingdom - Bryant Terry

The Age of Phillis - Honorée Jeffers

She Was the First!: The Trailblazing Life of Shirley Chisholm - Katheryn Russell-Brown, Eric Velasquez

Before the Ever After - Jacqueline Woodson

Special Awards

Activist of the year
Reverend Dr. Wendell Anthony

Youth activist of the year
Madison Potts

Spingarn medal
Misty Copeland

Toni Vaz

Sports award I
Stephen Curry

Sports award II
WNBA Player's Association (Nneka Ogqumike accepting on behalf of WNBAPA)

Key of life
Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett

Image: Courtesy TIFF

Jenna Cato Bass is Capturing the Horrors of an Unhealed Nation

The film marks the South African director's third debut and stride towards making a name for herself in the international film circuit.

Ever since premiering her debut film, Love the One You Love, which won the Best Feature Film at the Jozi Festival in 2015, Jenna Cato Bass has been a name to watch on the international film festival circuit. Her 2017 feature, High Fantasy, was the first of her films to land on the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) lineup, followed by Flatland in 2019. Her latest offering, Mlungu Wam (Good Madam), debuted at TIFF in September of 2021 — marking her third time at the esteemed Canadian film event.

Often provocative, always thought-provoking, Bass' films have come to establish her as a director who looks at South Africa's youth, the lives they're living and the future that awaits them, with a nuanced, open-minded lens. For the first time in her career, Bass uses the genre of horror to dig into an enduring mark of the country's past — that of the fraught, complex relationship between madam and domestic worker, in Mlungu Wam (Good Madam). Set in Cape Town, the film follows the unusual, disturbing things that start happening when a young woman moves back in with her estranged mother, who is the longtime caretaker for a rich, white household.

Bass also co-wrote the film Tug of War (Vuta N'Kuvute), which became Tanzania's first film to be selected for TIFF this year, and she co-wrote Rafiki, which was Kenya's first film at TIFF in 2018.

She spoke to OkayAfrica about playing in a new genre and her hopes for African cinema.

Still from Bass's film Mlungu Wam Image: Courtesy TIFF

This story revolves around the relationship between a domestic worker and her 'madam.' What made you want to make a film about this subject?

When I make films, I like the concept to revolve around something that we all have in common - because, despite the many fractures in our society, these shared places exist. And in South Africa, we felt that everyone - in some way or another - has been deeply affected by domestic work and domestic workers, who are a keystone in our society's structure. Additionally, the 'maid' and 'madam' relationship is the ultimate symbol of race relations in South Africa - as well as how they haven't changed significantly, despite almost thirty years of democracy. So a domestic worker was the perfect character around which to centre a South African horror.

The genre of horror works really well to explore this subject and tell this story — when did you know it would be the genre you'd want to use?

The early stages of developing a film aren't always linear for me. I'll be thinking about a genre I'm interested in, and then parallel to that I'll have an idea for a story or a character, and later on, will realize that these pieces all fit together. In this case, I'd been wanting to make a horror film for ages, but hadn't found the right story… until I had the idea for Mlungu Wam, and I realized I was finally ready to try this genre.

What challenges did you face in making a horror?

It was my first time working in this genre, and it was intimidating because there's no saving you if you fail. We were also working on a very, very limited budget, so it wasn't possible to show as much as we'd like to - but then again, this story was all about the subjective and the unseen, so I did as much research and planning as we could, and just had to trust it would work.

Where did you film, and did that have any impact on the process at all?

We filmed in a house in Cape Town, in a gated community in the Southern Suburbs. The house and the environment had a major impact on the film - especially because we were also quarantining there for the full 7 weeks of rehearsal and shooting. The house was our set and our accommodation, so it was very intense, very claustrophobic, and very triggering for many of our team members.

How did you and co-writer Babalwa Baartman work on the story? You've included cast members in the writing process in your previous work — did you do that here too?

Mlungu Wam was made along similar lines to my first two films, Love The One You Love and High Fantasy, where we started with an outline, cast actors, then workshopped the characters collaboratively before completing the story breakdown and using improv for the dialogue. Babalwa and I had worked together using this method on a short film we made in 2019 called Sizohlala. She really understands the process, and it was a really rewarding experience exploring the story with her and our cast.

How did Kristina Ceyton, who produced the excellent acclaimed horrors The Babadook and The Nightingale, through Causeway Films, come to be involved in this film?

I had met Sam Jennings, who is also a producer with Causeway Films, several years ago at a festival. We really connected and kept in touch over the years, sharing our work, and hoping there'd be a chance to collaborate. So when we were developing Mlungu Wam, I pitched her and Kristina the concept and they were immediately supportive. It has been a massive pleasure working with them both.

Your films are known to venture into themes of identity and healing from the past — how does this film speak to that?

Mlungu Wam is definitely about this too - it's a story about three generations of women (actually four, if you include Tsidi's grandmother, who is an unseen character in the film), how they are haunted by the past and eventually refuse to remain chained any longer. Their healing is collective, linked to each other, and wouldn't be possible for them alone as individuals.

Still from Bass's film Mlungu Wam Image: Courtesy TIFF

You've been at TIFF before - how has your experience of it been this year, with it being a hybrid of virtual and in-person?

Things have been quieter and a bit harder to navigate, but the TIFF staff have done incredible work getting the festival off the ground, despite endless challenges. It has felt very surreal to be here, and a privilege - and inspiring too, that we can still get together to celebrate films, even though our world is in such a mess. We had over 200 (socially distanced) people at our last screening, and that was an amazing feeling.

Yours is one of few African films on this year's line-up - is there anything you'd like to see happen to try improve that?

Regarding African cinema, TIFF has a real range of films this year, across several sections. Compared to many other festivals, they seem really invested in supporting cinema from the continent. Of course, this could be better, but it's also an example to other festivals who claim there aren't enough African films, that this is clearly not the case.

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