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This weekend is going to be a big one – it’s the MTN South African Music Awards. And the fans will be the winners, with live performances spicing things up.
IF music is your thing, Joburg is the hottest place to be this weekend. The 17th annual MTN South African Music Awards (Samas) are taking place on Friday and Saturday at Montecasino in Fourways, in the north of Jozi.

 

Freshlyground Freshlyground are set to perform at this year's SamasIt promises to be more than an awards show. For the first time in its 17-year history, the Samas will be hosted on multiple stages, “bringing the best in South African music to the public both live and in cross link up performances during the awards and several live performances immediately after the awards until late”, say the publicists, Red Flag.
 

They will be co-hosted by Phat Joe, aka Majota Kambule, the controversial radio and television host; and model, television and radio personality Bonang “B” Matheba. Over on the second stage on the Piazza – the Sama Fan Stage –television and radio jockey Sizwe Dhlomo will be the host.

There will be three stages over the weekend – the Sama Dome stage, the Teatro stage and the Piazza stage – and all will be filled with contemporary acts, say the publicists. Artists billed to perform include Zakes Bantwini, Rhythmic Elements, Kwela Tebza, Professor, Van Coke Kartel, Freshlyground, Goldfish, DJ Kent, Loyiso and Tumi & The Volume, to list a few.

Organisers say those at the awards will experience first-hand a multi-dimensional world-class event and televised production, with live performances and star-spotting on the yellow carpet.

Last year, the awards had a live webcast, introduced the first ever International Achievement Awards category, international media coverage and one of the biggest multi-dimensional stage productions ever in South African entertainment.

Tickets
This year, organisers promise a humdinger of a show. It will be “current, fresh, cutting edge and ahead of current trends”, they promise. More tickets are available to fans for both the Friday and Saturday awards shows; there are also VIP packages. “We will build on these successes and again deliver one of the most electrifying productions on the South African calendar.”

 

LiquideepLiquideep, nominated for best urban dance ulbum“We are confident about the road that local music is following and our support of the MTN Samas underpins our ongoing commitment for the promotion of South African music, our communities and the entrepreneurs that are involved in making this massive event and its legacy a success,” says Natasha Basson, the acting general manager for brand and communications at MTN.
 

There are over 50 categories in the Samas; but the most-watched will be the album of the year, duo or group of the year, female artist of the year, male artist of the year, newcomer of the year and the modified MTN record of the year.

Joburg artists are the nomination list include hip-hop trio Teargas, Nhlanhla Nciza, Loyiso Bala, Benjamin Dube, Danny K, Nothende, Theo Kgosinkwe, Stoan and Speedy, Howza, Slikour, Mandoza, Thebe, Louise Carver, DJ Mahoota, Black Coffee and the Jaziel Brothers, to mention a few.

The awards cross all genres and include production, engineering and video. They are sponsored by the cellphone network provider, MTN, and the beer company, Heineken.

“The Samas [are a] benchmark for South Africa’s diverse musical talent,” says the Heineken spokesperson, Jan Willem van Wensem. “I would like to congratulate all of the South African artists who continually strive for perfection of their musical talent and who [have been] nominated this year.

“To be a part of the South African Music Awards is a great achievement and we are all extremely proud of the cosmopolitan mix of great South African artists featured annually through this event.”

Dance album

The ParlotonesThe Parlotones are up for a Sama awardDJ Kent, Liquideep, Tumelo and Zakes Bantwini are other Joburg artists who have been nominated, for best urban dance album. Nominated for best rap album is Amu for The Principal; Kwesta for Special Rekwest; Slikour for his third solo offering, Ventilation Volume 3 (VV3); Tuks Senganga for his comeback album Tshwanelo; and Tumi & The Volume for Pick a Dream.
 

Up for best kwaito album are L’vovo Derrango for Irresistible; Mandoza for Real Deal; Professor for his popular solo album, University of Kalawa Jazmee; Sosha for 745 Mission; and Thebe for Mujomba.

Other categories in which Joburg artists have been nominated are best traditional/African adult contemporary African DVD, best urban DVD, best producer, best engineer, best adult contemporary album: English, best pop album: English, best pop album: African, best urban pop album and best urban dance album.

There are plenty of ways to get regular updates on the awards: you can log on to its website, Facebook page, YouTube and Twitter.

The 17th Annual MTN South African Music Awards takes place at Montecasino, Fourways on 20 and 21 May. Tickets to the show are still available at Computicket.

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