Durban - Nathi! Nathi! Nathi! Nathi! Nathi!” was the overwhelming cry at the 22nd South African Music Awards held at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli Convention Centre in Durban on Saturday night.
The awards, which were hosted by the surprising yet inspired pairing of dancer and reality star Somizi Mhlongo and actress and radio personality Thando Thabethe, saw newcomer Nathi Mankayi walk away with the most awards.
Mankayi’s album, Buyelekhaya, was the best-selling album of the year, produced numerous hit songs including Nomvula, and saw him walk away with five awards for best soul/ R&B/ reggae, best-selling album of the year, best newcomer, best male artist and best-selling full-track music download.
He also took to the stage to perform with Afrikaans pop star and best pop album Sama winner, Karlien van Jaarsveld.
The night’s other big winner was one of South Africa’s most successful music exports, DJ Black Coffee, who walked away with four awards. He was unfortunately unable to attend.
Gospel singer Sfiso Ncwane also walked away with multiple awards, scoring three for his album Bayede Baba. Durban kwaito group DBN Nyts surprised many people when they also scooped three awards for their hit song, Shumaya.
Other winners at the awards included Zonke, Emtee, Big Nuz, Petite Noir, Zahara, Tresor, Elvis Blue, Ntokozo Mbambo and the Grammy award-winning Wouter Kellerman, who walked away with his second Sama for best classical and instrumental album.
A number of politicians were at the ceremony, including Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula, with some of them presenting awards.
The hosts for the evening were an inspired choice, with Mhlongo and Thabethe taking no prisoners when it came to taking the mickey out of the celebrities at the event.
Wouter Kellerman opened the show with his flute and, after performing some music off last year’s album, Love Language, he went on to perform Back to the Beach by Kyle Deustch and Shekhinah and Juice Back by rising hip hop star, Nasty C.
Rapper Kid X then came on to perform and was followed by Lady Zamar and Junior Taurus with their hit song, Mamelodi. Rappers AKA and Da Les then closed the opening performance.
One of the highlights of the show was the Lebo Mathosa tribute given by Nakhane TourÃ© and Moneoa. It’s been ten years since the songstress died in a car accident.
Another performance that raised the roof was the collaboration of The Muffinz, Petite Noir and Desmond and the Tutus.
The ceremony was true to its theme “The Future is Hear” with many futuristic elements used in the show.
From virtual reality headsets to the use of graphics, it was a high-tech show. Creative director Malcolm Che revealed that it was the first time in awards history that a show would be streamed in 360º video.
People could also use their virtual reality headsets during the show, whether in the audience or at home. The show was also streamed live on YouTube and on the Samas app for people to watch the proceedings anywhere in the world.
The Samas is the biggest entertainment event on the South African calendar and the live broadcast on SABC1 was expected to have more than 6 million viewers.
Album of the Year: Black Coffee (Pieces of Me)
Duo or Group of the Year: Big Nuz (For the Fans)
Female Artist of the Year: Zonke (Work of Heart)
Male Artist of the Year: Nathi (Buyelekhaya)
Newcomer of the Year: Nathi (Buyelekhaya)
Best Rock Album: Desmond & the Tutus (Enjoy Yourself)
Best Pop Album: Tresor (VII)
Beste Pop Album (Afrikaans): Karlien van Jaarsveld (My Hartjie)
Best Adult Contemporary: Judith Sephuma (One Word)
Beste Kontemporêre Musiek: Elvis Blue (Êrens In Die Middel Van Nêrens)
Best African Adult Album: Dizu Plaatjies & Friends (Ubuntu - The Common String)
Best Alternative Album: Petite Noir (La Vie Est Belle/Life is Beautiful)
Best R&B/Soul/Reggae Album: Nathi (Buyelekhaya)
Best Rap Album: Emtee (Avery)
Best Kwaito Album: Big Nuz (For the Fans)
Best Dance Album: Black Coffee (Pieces of Me)
Best Traditional Faith Music Album: TYGC Family (The Journey Begins)
Best Contemporary Faith Music Album: Ntokozo Mbambo (Spirit and Life)
Best Maskandi Album: Imithente (Ichakijana)
Best Jazz Album: Marcus Wyatt & ZAR Jazz Orchestra (One Night in the Sun)
Best Classical/Instrumental Album: Wouter Kellerman (Love Language)
Best Live Audiovisual Recording: Jimmy Dludlu (Live at Emperors Palace)
Best Collaboration: Dbn Nyts ft. Zinhle Ngidi & Trademark (Shumaya)
Best Music Video: Jack Parow & Freshly Ground (Army of One)
Best Produced Album: Zahara (Country Girl)
Best Engineered Album: Black Coffee (Pieces of Me)
Best Remix: DJ Sliqe (Do Like I Do Remix)
International Achievement Award: Black Coffee
Lifetime Achievement Awards: Nana Coyote (posthumous), Bhekumuzi Luthuli (posthumous), Roger Lucey