Music awards hit the high notes

Patience Bambalele

Patience Bambalele

This year's South African Music Awards night belonged to the phenomenally gifted DJ Sbu Leope.

The event was a whirlwind of excitement which reached a crescendo when Leope climbed the podium to collect his award for song of the year. The entire Sun City Superbowl stood up to give him a standing ovation for a solid three minutes. He looked devastatingly humbled.

Jazz artist Simphiwe Dana also stood out this year.

Dubbed as one of the most anticipated extravaganzas in Africa, the glamorous event attracted celebrities and business people in different shapes and sizes, dressed to kill.

MC for the event was Kabelo Mabalane who proved that sometimes musicians do have brains.

Dana raked in four awards out of five nominations while her homegirl Sphokazi Maraqana walked away with two.

Newcomer Maraqana beat Lesego, Lucas Senyatso, Maduvha and Rae fair and square in the best newcomer category.

She also won the best adult contemporary award.

The amazing maskandi duo Shwi Nomtekhala took two out of four awards. The two young lads from KwaZulu-Natal proved beyond doubt that maskandi music is selling more than other genres.

The group scooped the best selling album and best maskandi album awards. In the best selling album they outdid kwaito act Kabelo, Sbu and Rebecca in the gospel category.

There was a very interesting contest in the mbaqanga category where rivals Bhekumuzi Luthuli and Thokozani Langa competed against the Soul Brothers. This one went to Luthuli and Langa.

In the best kwaito category where the artists of the moment are L'vovo, Thebe, Kabelo and Trompies, the award went to Kabelo.

Afro-pop group Mafikizolo has been overshadowed by Malaika which has risen from the dead this year.

The group took three awards: best music video, best adult contemporary album and best duo.

Musicians such as Hlengiwe, S'nethemba, Vicky and Avante were up against each other for the best contemporary gospel album award, but it was Rebecca Malope who took it home again.

Other winners included DJ Cleo who won the best dance album, Danny K who took the best pop album in English and Lira who gained her first award for best video.