Sama mix-up puts damper on Mango Groove's big night

Trailblazing band Mango Groove were robbed of their chance to shine at the South African Music Awards (Samas) on Saturday night in Sun City, North West.

The Special Star hitmakers were one of three music acts presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award on the night.

Minister Nathi Mthethwa, MEC Tsotso Tlhapi and radio personality Nothemba Madumo teamed up to present the honorary award.

Almost instantly after announcing Mango Groove as a recipient, the threesome took it upon themselves to accept the award on behalf of the 11-piece group after saying they could not attend.

But the band's founder John Leyden was there and he was left confused in the audience as he was on standby with a speech prepared.

"We were so chuffed, honoured and blown away to have received a Lifetime Achievement Award. It's a real big deal for us and it means so much to us," Leyden told Sowetan.

"There I was at this wonderful event, side-stage and about to step on [but] for some reason there was some sort of mix-up. I had my speech ready.

"There was a misconception that I wasn't there and the announcer said I wasn't there.

"It was sad for us, but doesn't change that we are so blown away by all the love and support. To be recognised by your peers and the industry in this way is so touching to us."

Lead singer Claire Johnston was scheduled to attend, but couldn't as she was not feeling well. The band recently celebrated their 30th anniversary.

The Samas had not responded to our inquiry on the matter at the time of publication.

In another twist during the segment, the late HHP's, real name Jabulani Tsambo, posthumous recognition was accepted by his son Leano through a video clip.

HHP's widow Lerato Sengadi, who was present, had told Sowetan two weeks ago when the announcement was made that she will be on stage to accept the honour.

Sengadi and HHP's business partner Seabelo Modibe had been involved in a tug of war over who the rightful recipient of the award should be.

"I would like to thank God for this nice birthday present and my grandparents for giving my mom and dad to me," Leano said during the speech.

All three members of kwaito group TKZee, Tokollo Tshabalala, Kabelo Mabalane and Zwai Bala, were in attendance to accept their awards.

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