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'It is not a popularity contest:' SAMA boss explains why Babes walked away empty-handed

By Tshisalive | 2017-05-30 11:12:12.0

SAMA organisers have explained that Wololo hitmaker Babes Wodumo’s nominations were judged on her entire album and not just one song.

This comes after a raging debate was sparked on social media when  Babes walked away with dololo at the swanky awards ceremony.

Even though organisers have admitted that Wololo may be “the biggest song in the country‚” it was not enough get the singer a gong. 

ALSO READ: Mampintsha and Babes apologise for SAMA outbursts

Speaking to TshisaLIVE‚ Recording Industry of South Africa (RiSA) CEO Nhlanhla Sibisi explained that judges had looked at Babes’ entire album and not just her single.

“The SAMAs has always evaluated the entire album of an artist to judge their entire body of work. The Record of the Year category is the only category in which a single track is considered and so an artist may have a great single or series of singles but their album may not be better than another artist‚” he explained.

He suggested that this had happened with Babes.

“Wololo was the biggest song in the country. It was in the top 10 of the all charts we consulted for our nominations shortlists and was massively popular‚ but the SAMAs is not a popularity contest‚” he explained.

Nhlanhla said the organisers planned to meet and discuss the possibility of including more categories that award individual songs and not just albums.

He also explained that the Record of the Year award was not chosen by the SAMA judging panel but by the public.

“The judges have no say in deciding who wins Record of the Year. It is decided entirely by popular vote. It is the artist who encourages fans to vote for their song who wins the award. We also find that those with the biggest and most loyal following often win this award‚” Nhlanhla explained.

Babes went on an angry Instagram rant shortly after the SAMAs‚ accusing the awards of being bought and said that she “refuses to believe” that her song can be played and trend as it did but not receive any award.

Nhlanhla challenged this and said that the awards were fair and free of corruption.

“I am extremely happy with how the SAMAs went. We are aware of the comments on social media suggesting foul play but I can assure you that the awards were fair‚” he said.