Ntokozo Mbambo, Kabza De Small, 2Point1 & KO reign supreme at #SAMA29

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Gospel singer Ntokozo Mbambo (image from X)

The much-anticipated South African Music awards took place on Saturday, 18 November 2023, at the SunBet Arena at Time Square, Menlyn, Pretoria.

The cream of the crop in the entertainment industry came out to play, dressed to the nines. Putting their best fashion foot forward to celebrate a momentous milestone in the South Africa Music diaspora – 29 years of The South African Music Awards.

The glittering awards ceremony boasting cutting edge technology and pyrotechnics, was hosted by DJ Sabby and Nomalanga Shozi with red carpet hosts Hope Mbhele and Thuthuka Mthembu and featured performances from the likes of Kabza De Small, Makhadzi, Loatinover, Msaki, Alter Ego and 25K. The guest presenters were an array of some of the biggest names in music and entertainment as well as Zizi Kodwa, Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture. In addition to an array of nominees the red carpet was buzzing with the brightest African stars, Jessica Nkosi, Laconco, Ayanda MVP and Penny Lebyane to name but a few.

Kabza De Small made a clean sweep with four wins. The Amapiano superstar walked away with Best Duo/Group of The Year award alongside DJ Maphorisa for Scorpion Kings Live Sun Arena and Best Produced Album for KOA II Part 1 produced by Kabza De Small, Da Muziqal Chef, Mdu aka TRP, Stakev, DJ Maphorisa and Felo le Tee.

In the Night 1 Industry Awards, announced on Friday, the wunderkind earned Best Amapiano Album for KOA II Part 1 while his collaboration with Kwesta on Speak N Vrostaan bagged him Best Kwaito Album.

2Point1 featuring Ntate Stunna and Nthabi Sings staged a remarkable feat as they won both Record of the Year and Music Video of the Year gongs for their runaway hit Stimela, as voted for by the public.

Gospel superstar Ntokozo Mbambo emerged as one of the triumphant talents of the #SAMA29 evening as she took home Female Artist of The Year, Album of The Year and Best Contemporary Faith Album awards for Lavish Worship. The KwaZulu-Natal born songbird who came on the scene as the youngest member of Joyous Celebration in 2000 continues to prove her powerhouse status as a solo act.

The Night 1 Industry Awards saw Nduduzo Makhathini win Best Jazz Album for In The Spirit of Ntu, Khuzani won Best Maskandi Album for Umqhele neThwaula while Dumi Mkokstad scooped Best Traditional Faith Album. Beste Pop Album went to Bernice West for Jona, Nathi secured Best African Adult Contemporary Album award for Usiba Lwe Gazi and the Rest of Africa award was taken by Moreira Chonguica for Sounds of Peace.

SABC1 Channel Head Ofentse Thinane commented: “Storytelling through the art form of music has always been at the core of SABC1. We want to give a special mention to everyone that has ever contributed to the music. Congratulations to all the nominees on being recognised and all the winners for taking home the trophy.”

Amapiano sensation, Myztro, walked away with the prestigious Newcomer of the Year award for 2.0 Nkwari. Crowd favourite, Makhadzi, took home Best Traditional Album for African Queen 2.0. Mörda cemented his brand as a solo artist and a true performer as he had the crowd rejoicing to his set while taking home Best Dance Album as well as Remix of The Year for Ndinovalo alongside Yallunder.  Lloyiso’s Seasons won him Best Pop Album.

K.O’s Sete featuring Young Stunna and Blxckie won the SAMRO Highest Airplay Composer Award and CAPASSO Most Streamed Song Award.

Wouter Kellerman, Zakes Bantwini and Nomcebo Zikode were honoured with the International Achievement Award for their remarkable track Bayethe, a song that transcended borders placing the three giants as Grammy winners.

The Lifetime Achievement awards went to Mandoza (posthumous), Ihashi Elimhlophe, Gloria Bosman (posthumous) and Pops Mohamed for their outstanding contribution in the music industry.

AKA posthumously scored the hotly contested Male Artist of The Year and Best Collaboration for Lemons (Lemonade) featuring Nasty C.  His album, Mass Country, scooped the Best Engineered Album for Robin Kohl & Itu. The icon lives long in true Supermega style.

In her acceptance speech an emotional Lynn Forbes, mother of AKA said: “This occasion is so special it is a full circle moment for us. In 2021 Kiernan won Best Male Artist at the SAMA’s and to stand here tonight to accept this award in his absence is just the most incredible honour. Thank you, South Africa, thank you Africa and thank you Megacy.”

RiSA CEO Nhlanhla Sibisi was elated at the winners: “#SAMA29 was definitely filled with multiple challenges but through the art of collaboration, artists, esteemed industry professionals, guest presenters and hosts we were able to celebrate all our winners. We are so grateful for them and for South Africa as a whole and their love for the country’s music and entertainment industry. We are so proud of all our winners and wish that their careers continue to be as unforgettable as this evening has been. #SAMA30 let’s go!”

African Queen – Makhadzi concluded the evening with a bang, joined by social media sensation Skomota to end #SAMA29 on a very high and memorable note.

Celebrating 29 years of world-renowned South African Music was the order of the day. Local is Lekker!!!

Congratulations are to all the winners!!!

By Sinenzolo Mondi – Nduku