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Samas to go ahead after RiSA, Africa Fest struck a deal

Awards now set to be held in Pretoria

Emmanuel Tjiya S Mag Editor-in-chief


Kelly Khumalo performs during the 25th annual South African Music Awards (SAMA 25) at Sun City.
Kelly Khumalo performs during the 25th annual South African Music Awards (SAMA 25) at Sun City.
Image: Frennie Shivambu

The SA Music Awards (Samas) has bounced back at the last minute, after the now-cancelled KwaZulu-Natal provincial government funding that amounted to a whopping R28m.

Organisers of the Samas, Recording Industry of South Africa (RiSA), have confirmed to Sowetan that the show will go on as planned on November 18 at SunBet Arena in Menlyn, Pretoria. The move comes after RiSA struck a deal with music concert Africa Fest, which features a star-studded amapiano line-up.

The inaugural music festival will serve as the official after-party, preceding will be a live broadcast of the 29th annual Samas at 8pm on SABC 1. The festival line-up includes Kabza De Small, Makhadzi, DBN Gogo, Samthing Soweto, Kamo Mphela, Pabi Cooper, Nkosazana Daughter, Uncle Waffles, Mas MusiQ, Sam Deep, DJ Stokie and Lesego M.

“It took some nifty footwork and agility to ensure that SAMA29 is saved and staged on the set date”, said Nhlanhla Sibisi, the CEO of RiSA. 

“We are humbled by the receptive and sympathetic nature of our partners at Africa Fest who showed that the industry can be stronger when we are together.

“This is a display of the Sesotho adage kopano ke matla [unity is strength]. They have generously accommodated our programme and will be assisting in ensuring that the awards run as smoothly as possible with the highest production values befitting the calibre of our musicians. I have no doubt that it will be a memorable one.”

Arnold Coleske of Africa Fest added: “We are delighted to be working with SAMA29 as part of the Africa Fest inaugural offering. When RiSA approached us for this collaboration we saw it as an opportunity for the industry to work together. Our dealings with each other have been seamless, we found a lot of common ground and synergies. This is a big win for South African music.”

Last month, KZN department of economic development and environmental affairs abruptly withdrew its three-year partnership as main sponsors of the Samas following public outrage and the intervention of President Cyril Ramaphosa.

The Samas have also announced nominations for Record of the Year and Music Video of the Year, which are the only two public-voted categories. Popular songs by Uncle Waffles, Young Stunna, AKA, KO, Master KG, Ami Faku, Daliwonga, Big Nuz, Musa Keys, Nomfundo Moh and Aymos have been thrown into the mix. 

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