SAMAs announce ‘fundamental transformations’ in the works for 29th edition

Mpho Popps, Lawrence Maleka, Nandi Madida and Robott Boii. Picture: Instagram

Mpho Popps, Lawrence Maleka, Nandi Madida and Robott Boii. Picture: Instagram

Published Jan 10, 2023


The South African Music Awards (SAMAs), has announced that the awards, on the back of months of industry-wide consultations and reflections, will be undergoing some fundamental transformations.

The event organiser, the Recording Industry of South Africa (RiSA), made the announcement in a press statement on January 9. RiSA also announced that entries for the awards would open in the first quarter of 2023.

The ripple effect of the date for entries is that the awards show will be staged only in the second half of the year.

The “fundamental changes” are still yet to be made public, but come after last year’s awards which were clouded by public outcry.

Several artists such as Zakes Bantwini, DJ Maphorisa, Makhadzi and Lady Du went public with their dissatisfaction with the awards.

The controversial stripping of gospel artist Pulane Maphari of her Best Contemporary Faith Album award, added to the drama of the awards. Maphari was stripped of the win after she allegedly repackaged, renamed and paraded a previously released album.

Nhlanhla Nivo Ndimande’s involvement as creative director for the SAMAs despite being the manager for Musa Keys, who won the award for Record of the Year, also caused a stir.

RiSA CEO Nhlanhla Sibisi commented: “It gives me pleasure to inform the industry, fans and supporters of the local music industry that the SAMA continue to prove to be an enduring feature in the South African music landscape and this year will not be different.

“We are confident that as we push towards the milestone 30th year of the awards we will have an event that is agile, engaging and puts the artist first.”