Africa Fest harmonises global amapiano surge in Sama integration

Makhadzi. Picture: Supplied

Makhadzi. Picture: Supplied

Published Nov 22, 2023


The Recording Industry of South Africa (RiSA) unveiled the triumphs of this year’s South African Music Awards (Samas) during a dazzling ceremony at SunBet Arena in Pretoria on Saturday, November 18.

The star-studded line-up comprised DBN Gogo, Pabi Cooper, Uncle Waffles, Kamo Mphela, Makhadzi, Mas-Musiq, Sam Deep, Samthing Soweto, Nkosozana Daughter, DJ Stokie and Lesego M.

Amapiano has become a stand-out example of why Africa is at the forefront of the world. This international phenomenon of “new” music genre, born in South African townships has taken over the world.

The Sama29 red carpet kicked off at 4pm and the broadcast section was beamed live from the Arena on SABC1 at 8pm. The after-party was courtesy of Africa Fest.

“I was thrilled with how all the elements came together and how we were able to create a world-class production on stage, combined with electrifying performances and dancers,” says Ceehle Suntele, the AfricaFest spokesperson.

Africa Fest is the newest African flagship event to celebrate and showcase the best Amapiano artists South Africa offers on home soil, with a good balance between DJs and performers.

The partnership with Sama29 also highlighted the importance of Amapiano as a genre, with some of our performers taking home multiple awards.

The night belonged to Amapiano maestro Kabza De Small, who clinched an impressive four awards. Notable victories include the coveted Best Duo/Group of The Year alongside DJ Maphorisa, Best Produced Album, Best Amapiano Album, and Best Kwaito Album.

Gospel sensation Ntokozo Mbambo shone, securing three accolades, including Female Artist of The Year, Album of the Year, and Best Contemporary Faith Album. AKA, in a poignant posthumous moment, claimed Male Artist of The Year and Best Collaboration for “Lemons (Lemonade)” featuring Nasty C. His album, “Mass Country,” was recognised as the Best Engineered Album.

Africori, a powerhouse in the music industry, celebrated a triumphant night, bagging three awards. Their wins included Best Afropop Album for Sjava, Best Hip-Hop Album for MashBeatz, and Best Traditional Music Album for Makhadzi.

The Newcomer of the Year title was bestowed upon Amapiano sensation Myztro for “2.0 Nkwari”, while Makhadzi’s “African Queen 2.0” earned her the Best Traditional Album award. Mörda, a force to be reckoned with, emerged victorious in the categories of Best Dance Album and Remix of the Year for “Ndinovalo“, shared with Yallunder. Lloyiso’s ”Seasons“ won him the prestigious Best Pop Album accolade.

K.O’s track “Sete“, featuring Young Stunna and Blxckie, claimed the Samro Highest Airplay Composer Award and the Capasso Most Streamed Song Award. Wouter Kellerman, Zakes Bantwini, and Nomcebo Zikode received the International Achievement Award for their Grammy-winning track ”Bayethe“.

In a touching tribute, the Lifetime Achievement awards were posthumously presented to Mandoza and Gloria Bosman, alongside Ihhashi Elimhlophe and Pops Mohamed for their outstanding contributions to the music industry.

The first batch of winners in the non-broadcast categories included Nduduzo Makhathini for Best Jazz Album, Khuzani for Best Maskandi Album, and Dumi Mkokstad for Best Traditional Faith Album. Bernice West was honoured with the Beste Pop Album and Nathi with the Best African Adult Contemporary Album awards.

Reflecting on the challenges faced, RiSA CEO Nhlanhla Sibisi expressed gratitude to the artists, industry professionals, guest presenters and hosts for their collaborative efforts in making Sama29 a memorable celebration of South Africa’s music and entertainment industry.

Sibisi congratulated all the winners and wished for their continued success in the dynamic world of music.

“Sama29 was filled with challenges, but we celebrated our winners through collaboration. We are grateful for the love South Africa has shown for its music and entertainment industry. Congratulations to all our winners, and may their careers shine as brightly as this unforgettable evening,” Sibisi said.

The Star