Somizi Mhlongo
Johannesburg - Sun City will be abuzz this weekend, when celebs descend on the popular resort for the 23rd instalment of the South African Music Awards (Samas).

Somizi Mhlongo seems to be a favourite as he returns to host the do again, but this time around he will co-host the much-anticipated event with award-winning comedian Tumi Morake.

Somizi’s impressive stint on the stage last year appears to have given him the nod from organisers, who hope that he repeats the same feat. Morake and Somizi are two very powerful personalities, presenting a sink or swim situation.

The award that always gets tongues wagging is arguably the Re­cord of the Year category and the stakes were raised when the nominees were revealed on Friday on SABC 1’s Live Amp. BET nominee Babes Wodumo’s Wololo (featuring Mampintsha) seems to be be a favourite again, battling it out with another crowd favourite, Amazulu, by songstress Amanda Black.

Tumi Morake

Their careers took off in style, as evinced by the album sales.

Black went platinum in just three weeks post releasing.

They dominated the Metro FM nominees list and seem to be doing no less this year with three and four nominations respectively.

This being their first experience in the Samas’ game, the newly-signed artists have made clear marks that have positively impacted their careers to date.

Not surprisingly, the leader in the Record of the Year pack, Nasty C’s Hell Naw, is also in the running.

He received six nominations, with Kwesta following him closely with five. Other nominees are AKA’s One Time, Black Coffee feat Shekinah - Your Eyes, DJ Clock feat Prom Knights - Wolves, Locnville - Cold Shoulder, Matthew Mole - Run and Miss Pru DJ with Ameni.

The Sama 23 Top 20 is based on independent radio tracking companies, Radio Monitor South Africa and BMAT South Africa, which track the number of times songs are played on local radio stations.

The qualifying period is between March 1, 2016 and February 28, 2017. Voting is still on until Saturday May 27 at 9pm.

The awards this year will honour soprano Pretty Yende with the International Achiever Award. This accolade is to recognise her strides on the global scale.

And for the lifetime achievers awards, three of the most iconic stars in the industry will be honoured, Rebecca Malope, Don Laka and Babsy Mlangeni.

“We as the Sama organisers value these honours highly. We believe that our veterans who served the industry with unmatched dedication and gave us timeless music should never be forgotten by history "We look forward to etching the names of Rebecca Malope, Don Laka and Babsy Mlangeni in our prestigious list of lifetime achievers,” said Recording Industry of SA chief executive, Nhlanhla Sibisi.

“We say, well done on such colourful careers and let this be a token of our appreciation of your talent as a nation.” .

The Sunday Independent