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Awards tip hat to dance music pioneers

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King of Kwaito, Arthur Mafokate, sings at the launch of his new cd \"Seven Phezulu\" at Caesars in Kempton Park.

In 1994 we became free, the nation started dancing and we haven’t stopped. Eighteen years later and we are one the greatest consumers of all kinds of dance music, from house to kwaito to hip hop, deep house and trance. Give it a beat and our SA eyes light up and our hips start to sway.

The DJU (Deejays Unite Foundation) has come up with another way to promote dance music in the form of the South African Dance Awards. They were supposed to take place in Durban close to when the DJU hosted the South African Music Conference in July.

However, the event is now taking place on September 30 at the Lyric Theatre at Gold Reef City. The DJU, for those who are unaware, is made up of DJs Christos, Fresh, Oskido, Greg Maloka and Vinny da Vinci.

What these pioneers of dance music have planned is rather interesting. The inaugural year will be the Dance Music Honorary Music Awards and they will be honouring the pioneers of dance music. This will include the record labels Ghetto Ruff, 999 and Kalawa Jazmee. House Afrika will be one of the shops to receive an award. There will be performances by Trompies, Skeem and other kwaito and house artists.

The awards will recognise pioneers from the past 20 years. That Oskido and crew were a part of that revolution, and that they are receiving awards founded by themselves, could be construed as a bit weird. Of course, the event, coming in part from the Kalawa stable, would not be complete without the aid of government money. The Gauteng Department of Sports, Arts, Culture and Recreation have come on board with a healthy amount and a partnership in the event.

The hosts on the night will be Thembi Seete and Ishmael. Seete was there from day one as part of Boom Shaka in the early 1990s. Her career as a performer, an actress and a presenter has blossomed.

On Saturday evening she proved she was still on top of her game when she appeared at the Arts Alive Festival.

Ishmael is also still in the game after surfacing as a dancer and a rapper in Prophets of Da City in the early 1990s. His value as an artist and a producer has also gone from strength to strength, first as part of the kwaito group Skeem, than as a solo artist and now as part of the group Jozi. This talented artist easily cruises between hip hop, kwaito, R&B and even gospel.

Next year, the SA Dance Awards will be competitive, with public voting becoming part of the show. The event takes place at the Lyric Theatre in Gold Reef City on Sunday, September 30.


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