AFRO-POP comeback kid Winnie Khumalo and Hip- Hop Pantsula are leading the pack for top honours in this year's Channel O Spirit of Africa Video Awards with two nominations each.
Fresh from winning four awards in the South African Music Awards, Lira is also in the running for honours in two categories - Best African Southern, and Best Female Video for Wa Mpaleha.
The announcement of the awards, to be held in October, was made yesterday at the Melrose Arch Hotel. Unveiling the nominations months in advance, the channel is giving viewers a chance to vote for their artists.
And already, there are concerns being raised about South African audiences' lack of loyalty to vote for local artists. This despite that South Africa has the biggest DStv subscriber base on the continent.
"There seems to be complacency by South Africans to vote for their artists," said Channel O manager Yolisa Phahle.
Phahle also pointed out that musicians from across Africa were taking the awards seriously, and were mobilising support groups in their areas.
South Africa is well represented in most categories but there are fears that, like the previous year, the artists might come out empty- handed come October.
Other local artists with a nomination each are Thandiswa Mazwai (Best Female Video for Ingoma), Tzozo and Professor (Best Dance Video), and Khumalo (Best Dance Video and Best Afro-Pop for Live My Life).
Khumalo, who last released an album almost a decade ago, is also neck-and-neck with Theo of Malaika in the Best Afro-Pop category with Ndihambela Phezulu.
Mzekezeke is also in the running in the Best Kwaito category .