Mafikizolo sealed their comeback in triumphant style at the 20th Annual South African Music Awards – winning five awards at the main ceremony on Monday night to add to their three trophies at the industry awards earlier in the day.
This brings the popular Afro-pop duo’s total haul to an incredible eight awards at SAMA 20.
They scooped an armful of trophies for Album of the Year, Duo or Group of the Year, Best Pop Album, Best Collaboration, Best Selling Ring-back Tone, Best Selling Full-track Download and Best Selling Mobile Music Download of the Year.
And in the most hotly contested category of the night, the Kia Record of the Year, Mafikizolo featuring Uhuru beat out stiff competition to win the public SMS vote for their mammoth hit song Khona
The star-studded event at the Sun City Superbowl marked 20 years of the SAMAs – held, fittingly, on the Freedom Day public holiday commemorating the country’s 20th anniversary of democracy – and saw the beautiful and talented people of Mzansi coming out to play in their glad rags, to celebrate SA music’s finest. The main awards were broadcast live on SABC1.
A number of sizzling live performances and on-stage collaborations set the tone for an evening filled with drama, tears, joy and – no doubt – a few surprises. Presenters and performers stepped out in style at the awards, dressed by top local designers Anel Botha, David Tlale, Khathatso Tsotetsi, Paledi Segapo and Zano Sithetho.
With Mafikizolo dominating SAMA 20 with a near slam-dunk of the main categories, the remainder of the awards doled out on the night reflected a spread of winners. Only a handful of artists made the journey home from Sun City with more than one trophy in tow.
Bagging a brace of awards was songstress Zahara, who was crowned Female Artist of the Year for Phendula, which was also named the Best Selling Album of last year.
Fellow Eastern Cape songbird Zonke added to her Best Live DVD SAMA (at the industry awards earlier in the day) with the accolade for Best African Adult Album, for Give and Take Live.
And Ladysmith Black Mambazo not only received a SAMA Lifetime Achievement Award on the night – our kings of isicathamiya music also had the International Achievement Award bestowed on them, for their four Grammy Awards and their ongoing role as global ambassadors for traditional South African music.
Maskandi stalwart Phuzekhemisi also received a SAMA Lifetime Achievement Award for his exceptional contribution to the richness and diversity of the local music scene.
Kabomo was named Male Artist of the Year for his release Memory Remains, with Naima Kay snatching the award for Newcomer of the Year from a very talented young field.
As many had expected, Mi Casa’s Su Casa bagged the gong for Best Dance Album, with Big Nuz scoring Best Kwaito Album honours and Xhosa rapper iFani winning the SAMA for Best Rap Album.
Another closely contested race saw Van Coke Cartel walking off with the honours for Best Rock Album.
It was a good night for Karlien van Jaarsveld, whose Uitklophou snared the award for Beste Pop Album (Afrikaans). Elvis Blue took home his second SAMA in two years – this time for Beste Kontemporêre Musiek Album, for his release Afrikaans, while Shaun Jacobs’ album Love Can triumphed in the Best Adult Contemporary Album category.
Last year’s Standard Bank Young Artist for Jazz, Shane Cooper, left no one in any doubt about his prowess by securing the SAMA for Best Jazz Album.
Thokozani Langa was named the victor in the Best Maskandi Album category. And living gospel legend Rebecca continued her reign at the awards, adding the trophy for Best Traditional Faith Album to the dozen-plus SAMAs she already has adorning her mantelpiece.
It was an exceptional night on which South African music was the big winner, and the countdown has already begun to SAMA 21 – when the awards truly come of age!
• The Annual South African Music Awards are organised by the Recording Industry of South Africa (RISA), a trade association of recording companies operating in South Africa.
• The 20th Annual South African Music Awards were made possible with the generous support of sponsors the Recording Industry of the South Africa (RISA), Kia Motors, SABC1, Amstel Lager, Sony Mobile, the National Department of Arts and Culture and the Department of Sports, Arts & Culture North West Province; as well as partners Sun International and Mike du Toit Attorneys.