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2021 GQ Men of the Year Awards winners revealed

The third annual GQ Men of the Year Awards, in association with Hennessy V.S.O.P Privilège, revealed the winners of this year's awards at an event at the Four Seasons Hotel, The Westcliff in Johannesburg.
L to R: Theo Baloyi, Norma Mbedu, Nick Boulton, Lesedi Ferguson, Sipho ’Hotstix’ Mabuse and Laduma Ngxokolo
L to R: Theo Baloyi, Norma Mbedu, Nick Boulton, Lesedi Ferguson, Sipho ’Hotstix’ Mabuse and Laduma Ngxokolo

Affectionately known as "MOTY", the awards ceremony recognises pioneers within the country who shape our cultural landscape and continue to push the boundaries of innovation, inspiration, and insight. From artists to humanitarians, visionaries to designers, comedians and entrepreneurs, GQ South Africa and Hennessy V.S.O.P Privilège, celebrate the best talent from South Africa and Africa.

GQ editor-in-chief Molife Kumona said: “I can safely say that in the 22 years we’ve been around as GQ, the 2021 Men of the Year awards shows how diverse we are, not only as a brand and who we showcase and celebrate but, also how distinct the people who shape our culture are. Everyone we acknowledged in this year’s awards, epitomise excellence and inspiration. We’re truly honoured to have been able to do this for the third year in a row and in association, with a brand like Hennessy V.S.O.P Privilège.”

GQ's Men of the Year Awards 2021 winners, in no specific order, are:
  • Entertainer of the Year - Makhadzi
  • Musician of the Year - Focalistic
  • Humanitarian of the Year – Kolisi Foundation
  • Editor’s Special Tribute – the late Shona Ferguson (accepted by Connie Ferguson)
  • The Game Changers of the Year – Kgothatso Montjane and Tatjana Schoenmaker sponsored by Skin Renewal
  • Designer of the Year – Laduma Ngxokolo
  • The Industry Icon of the Year – Nick Boulton
  • Woman of the Year – Thuso Mbedu
  • Sportsperson of the Year – Ntando Mahlangu
  • The Standard Bank Business Leader of the Year – Theo Baloyi
  • The Hennessy V.S.O.P Privilège Lifetime Achievement Award – Sipho ‘Hotstix’ Mabuse.

The show was hosted by Molife Kumona and Claire Mawisa and included performances by the likes of Siki Jo-An, Sauti Sol and the third recipient of the Hennessy V.S.O.P Privilège Lifetime Achievement award, Sipho ‘Hotstix” Mabuse himself.

The Hennessy V.S.O.P Privilège Lifetime Achievement Award


One of South Africa’s (and the world’s) most admired and respected musicians, Mabuse is a performance great with an incredible catalogue of original music anchored in Africa over the last three decades. A pioneer within his industry, his impact on the South African music scene cannot be overstated.

From the founding of the legendary Kippies nightclub in the heart of Newtown - named one of the world’s 100 greatest jazz clubs by Downbeat magazine - to releasing nine albums, including Burn Out, which remains one of South Africa’s most cherished tracks to date, Mabuse changed the tune of township funk. The living legend has amassed a considerable trophy cabinet, including the Silver Order of Ikhamanga for his contribution to music.

Stef Kondylis, marketing manager of Moët Hennessy, South Africa, said, “We are honoured to present this prestigious award to Sipho Mabuse. A celebrated musician, Mabuse is an exceptional individual who has shaped the country’s musical identity. Still involved in performance arts to this day, he continues to contribute to the cultural development of many young musicians in the country.

"Hennessy V.S.O.P Privilège has been celebrating the pioneers, the game-changers, the movers, shakers and change-makers for over 200 years. The Hennessy V.S.O.P Privilège Lifetime Achievement Award and our association with GQ Men of the Year is a way to honour these committed and dedicated South Africans who remain true to Hennessy’s ethos of Never Stop. Never Settle,” concluded Kondylis.
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