Nominated for this year’s SA Music Awards, reggae band The Meditators comprising Sifiso Mpanza, Dan Msomi, Nathi ‘Bunny’ Mkhize, manager Free Hain, Alberto Chemane, Thabani Hlela and, in front, Shante and Zenga Bekwa.
Durban - Durban reggae band The Meditators have been nominated for this year’s best reggae album at the South African Music Awards (Samas) to be held at the end of the month in Johannesburg.

This week the band’s founder and front man, Shante Bekwa, said the nomination was for their latest album, Explosion, released in January.

“It was great news. We are so so excited. It’s unbelievable,” said Bekwa.

“We hope to travel to Johannesburg together for the event.”

Having been inspired in his early days by reggae icons such as Bob Marley and Peter Tosh, Bekwa said it was great that the SA music industry was recognising reggae, its message of harmony and its role in the liberation of Africa.

“There are a lot of people out there playing this music and it would be great if this genre gets more exposure, such as being played on radio more.

“Reggae is not only about music, but also the message. The world is in a mess and we need to fix the mess.

“We are looking forward to the awards, but we try to look at it differently - it’s not about competition, whoever wins this award will win it for all of us in the reggae industry,” Bekwa said.

“It’s more about bringing hope, love and caring and this will only happen when we start doing this ourselves in the industry. Music is a tool we can use for nation building and to fix our nation. We need to be one people.”

The band’s agent and manager, Free Haine, said they were all “thrilled” by the nomination.

“This is a victory for reggae music as a genre and an untapped industry with universal appeal. This victory comes on the back of almost 30 years during which The Meditators have endeared themselves to the Durban public,” she said, adding that it was well deserved because the band had released five albums.

In their category, The Meditators will be up against Black Dillinger (Mavara Is King), Ras Vuyo (Diversion), Botanist (Game Changer) and Bongo Riot (Next Levels).

The nominations were released last week at a gala evening in Johannesburg with DJ Black Coffee leading the field with five nominations - Album of the Year, Male Artist of the Year, Best Dance Album and two for the Collaboration of the Year award.

Next in line were Sho Madjozi, Sjava, Zonke and Sun-El Musician, who all received four nominations each, while Nasty C and Vusi Nova got the thumbs up with two nominations each.

The Samas will celebrate 25 years this year under the theme 25toLife.