The Golden Horn story


In its own right, the GOLDEN HORN is awarded by the South African Film & Television Awards (SAFTAS) in recognition of creative excellence, but impacts on our sense of nationalism and the context of renewal in Africa.

This concept is inspired by:
• the significance of “community’
• the diversity of our different communities
• the need for partnerships in our society and
• the strength found in numbers

The Golden Horn symbolizes Circularity as an organizing principle in African thought and like a continuous reel of past-present-future speaks to endless creativity. The Golden Horn also symbolizes past and present struggles and triumphs sending feelers into the future, captured by the forward bend of the horns to symbolize pregnant creative forces. Collectively, the figures are arranged in a manner that gives them a 360 degrees vision so collectively, they see the now looking into the future as a team Together.

We are using this notion of collective creativity and the idea of the creative energy as part of a team that resonates with African culture as a source of inspiration. Thus the award is presented as much as a sign of recognition of the individual, but also of the team that worked with and supported that individual to allow his talent to blossom.

Based on the prerogative of using a national symbol, we researched several objects and artifacts to develop the GOLDEN HORN – in order to reflect THE ENERGY OF CREATIVE UNION.

The creative concept behind the SAFTA Trophy, the “Golden Horn’ is built on the strength of a collective effort and community and the recognition of the individual as a part of the team. This experience is inherent in the South African Film and Television industry of today as a full production is the expression of and impossible without teams.

Like artifacts of African heritage such as the Lydenberg Heads that date back to 800 AD discovered in the Southern African region, the three figure heads are found on objects that recognize the stature of venerated members of African communities, those who are regarded as leaders in their fields and specifically represent excellence in visual creative arts, performance and drama. References to such artifacts are made in the Order of Ikhamanga – the National Order for Achievement in Creativity, Sciences and Sport.

The horn figurines; carved from cattle horns; are snuff boxes which are imbued with many subtle meanings that speak to the cultural, intellectual and spiritual heritage of our people. The figures are found on Pedi Snuff containers, made from the horns of cattle; those most adorned, having been offered to the most revered in society – commonly it would be political and spiritual leaders or such. These are objects of recognition and of value. (The reference to cattle horn, also exists due to the wealth that cattle represents in African culture.)

Together the figures create a reference to flames, its energy and force, and ultimately the sun. The rising sun is often used in African heraldry across the continent. It is an “emblem of brightness, splendour and the supreme principle of the nature of energy. It symbolizes insight and the impact of knowledge and the vision of creative energy.’

In the completed structure of the National Coat of Arms the rising sun combines the lower and higher oval.

These shards also refer, in a more abstract way to the shape of the beauty of African plants and flowers, such as the Protea and the Strelitzia – which represent aesthetic beauty. The shapes again refer also to the wings of flight like that of the Secretary Bird or the eagle – to represent creativity and its strengths as a divine guide.


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