If the South African Music Awards (SAMAs) are anything to go by, the South African music scene is bursting with talent. Every year the South African Music Awards cherry picks and rewards the best South African music, musicians, bands and the like. Year after year, there are memorable acts that really grab our attention.
The SAMAs are for the most part judged by a panel of independent and unpaid judges who are sourced from the media and broadcasting field, writers and critics as well as other musicians. By continually changing to meet the demands of the evolving SA music scene, the South African music awards remain a respected measure of success for the local music industry.
There are roughly 50 SAMA awards given out in total. The categories are broken up into genres such as rock, pop, kwaito, dance, jazz. There are also awards given for the best production, international recognition, and even lifetime achievement awards.
Among the most prized awards are: best male artist, best female artist, best group or duo, best newcomer and album of the year. It seems these categories have remained in place since at least 2004. Some of the most celebrated artists of the last 10 years have walked away with as many as 4 SAMAs across only these 5 categories.
Mafikizolo, a kwaito duo consisting of Theo Kgosinkwe and Nhlanhla Nciza have won, among others:
• The best duo or group in 2004 for Kwela,
• The best duo or group in 2007 for Six Mabone
• The best duo or group in 2014 for Reunited
• The album of the year in 2014 for Reunited
Zahara the lonestar singer, songwriter and poet has won, among many other awards:
• The best female artist in 2012 for Loliwe
• The album of the year in 2012 for Loliwe
• The best newcomer in 2012 for Loliwe
• The best female artist in 2014 for Phendula
Lira is not only an RnB and jazz singer, but also a model and an actress; she has won, among other awards:
• The album of the year in 2009 for Soul in mind
• The best Female Artist in 2009 for Soul In Sound
• The best female artist in 2012 for Live in Concert: A Celebration
Freshlyground, the afro-fusion band from Cape Town, have won, among many other awards:
• The best duo or group in 2008 for Macheri
• The album of the year 2008 for Macheri
• The best duo or group in 2013 for Take Me to the Dance
We doubt any of these artists will be fading away any time soon. By consistently producing noteworthy music, exceptional performances and heartfelt melodies, they have changed the South African music landscape for the better.