'We don't discriminate against ZCC'
The SA Music Awards (Samas) do not discriminate against ZCC gospel music.
This is a response from Recording Industry of SA CEO Nhlanhla Sibisi, who denied claims made by members of the ZCC gospel fraternity that Samas have constantly snubbed them for over 25 years. Two weeks ago, a group of ZCC stars like Simon Makgatholela, Kenny Makweng and Ronee Sathekge launched a campaign criticising the Samas for discrimination.
Breaking his silence since the accusations emerged, Sibisi confirmed they would meet with the group this week to hear their grievances.
"The Samas are open to all music and do not discriminate against any genre. We have invited them to explain why they feel we are discriminating against ZCC music."
The campaign launched after the nominations for the 25th annual Samas were announced last month. This year, the Best Traditional Faith Music Album category nods Lebo Sekgobela, Kholeka, Spirit of Praise, Sipho Ngwenya and Paul K.
Nominated for Best Contemporary Faith Music Album are Ntokozo Mbambo, Neyi Zimu, Khaya Mthethwa, Tshwane Gospel Choir and We Will Worship. The ZCC group fired out that over 25 years the Samas have never recognised veterans in the genre such as Oleseng Shuping, Nkosana Kodi and Mojeremane Xale.
According to the group, the only time that Kodi was mentioned by RiSA and his name made it to the Samas event, was when they paid tribute to him after he died in 2014.
"We have suffered a lot and we cannot allow the situation to continue. We are deciding to stand together and fight this now," Makgatholela said.
The 2019 Samas will take place at Sun City on May 31 and June 1.