Zonke to rule Afro music gig

Soul singer Zonke Dikana earned five nods in the South African Afro Music Awards (Saafma) announced yesterday.

She is the most nominated in categories such as best Afro female artist, best adult contemporary, best Afro-soul album and best Afro Producer.

She said in a statement: "I am so pleased with the news of my nominations and want to thank everyone who has supported me from day one."

The singer is followed closely by Vusi Nova and Nathi with three nods each. One of the rising stars, Birdie Mboweni got two nominations.

According to the chairman of Saafma, China Mpololo, the awards were scheduled to happen last year but due to technicalities they could not materialise.

Mpololo said: "We had a partnership with the City of Cape Town, where we were supposed to hold the inaugural awards but they kept on postponing the event due to sponsorship issues.

"There was no time so we decided to postpone the event to this year. We carried forward last year's event to this year, and this is why you don't see artists such as Amanda Black featuring on the list."

The awards will also honour the late Ray Phiri and Yvonne Chaka Chaka with lifetime achievement awards for their outstanding contribution to the music industry.

"Before Ray Phiri died, he had already known that we were going to award him.

"He was supposed to come to Cape Town but it's unfortunate that the awards were not held in 2016. As such, people must not think we are honouring Phiri simply because he has passed on."

Mpololo added: "Public votes were done last time. This time around 80% of these categories will be judged by a selection committee, consisting of a panel of music industry experts, and 20% by the public."

He said their panel of seven judges work independently and they had not been introduced to one another.

The awards take place on November 23 at Birchwood Hotel, Boksburg.

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