Zaharas star keeps on soaring. Last night she won Best Song of the Year at the Metro FM awards.

It’s official. Zahara is the new queen of South African music. The TS Records protege, fresh in the industry with her smash-hit album Loliwe, won the coveted Song of The Year at the Metro FM Music Awards at Mbombela Stadium in Mbombela, Mpumalanga last night. She also scooped the Best Female Album and helped her stablemate, DJ Sbu, win the Hit Single of the Year award for a remix of her chart-topping tune Lengoma.

Zahara was set for a clean sweep at the awards, in their 11th year, but was stopped in her wake by another new kid on the block – AKA, whose debut album Altar Ego won in all the three categories he was nominated in – Best Produced Album, Best Hip Hop Album and Best Newcomer.

Had Zahara also won the Best Newcomer award, one of four she was nominated for, she would have done what many artists can only dream of. She was nominated for Best Produced Album; Best Female Album; Best Newcomer and Song of the Year and Hit Single of the Year-– and she scooped two out of four.

Not bad for an artist nobody knew by this time last year.

Just a few hours before the awards, TS Records released Zahara’s music video for her song Ndiza.

The night also belonged to Durban’s mega-selling, multi-award winning trio – Big Nuz – who took home awards and stamped their authority as the kings of kwaito.

The group took the Best Kwaito Album and Best Group Album awards for their platinum-selling Pound For Pound. They were also nominated for Song of the Year and Single of the Year award for Sting Ray.

Big Nuz won the Best Kwaito award in 2008 and then the Metros took a year’s break (2009). Last year another Durbanite, Professor won the Best Kwaito award.

So the award may stay in Durban for some time to come. AKA (real name Kiernan Forbes) beat well-known hip hop artists Tuks Senganga and Morale. The 23-year-old AKA might have won the Best Newcomer category, but he is no mafikizolo in the music industry. He won a Kora award with his now defunct group Entity – which he formed with former schoolmates.

AKA later linked with Buks and Kamza, to form a production collection “IV League”, in which he is one of the two producers that have provided some hot instrumentals for the likes of PROKID and Tuks.

Morale, however, didn’t go home empty-handed – Ayamaah, his collaboration with kwaito bad boy Zola, won him Best Collaboration of the Year.

Judith Sepuma and Swazi Dlamini lost to top guitarist Kunle Ayo (real name Kunle Odutayo) in the contemporary jazz category. Terance won the Best Compilation Album award for his Music Box 5 (Home and Away).

Drama queen Somizi took home the Best Styled Artist/ Group award for his 9 Lives album.

He surely does have the proverbial nine lives of the cat, after spending so many years in the music industry with, among others, gospel masters Joyous Celebration, acting (Molo Fish) and becoming a stage performer as Gigi.

SABC 1 will broadcast the awards on December 9 at 9pm.

2011 Metro FM Music Awards Winners:

Best African Pop

Madoda – Mzizi

Best Compilation Album

Terance – Music Box 5 (Home and Away)

Best Produced Album

AKA – Altar Ego

Best Dance Album

DJ Cndo – Finest lady of house Vol.4

Best Female Album

Zahara – Loliwe

Best Urban Gospel

We Will Worship – The movement begins

Best Group Album

Big Nuz – Pound for Pound

Best Hip hop album

AKA – Altar Ego

Best Contemporary Jazz

Kunle Ayo – Best of Both Worlds

Best Kwaito Album

Big Nuz – Pound for Pound

Best Male Album

Spikiri – The King Don Father 2.5

Best Newcomer

AKA – Altar Ego

Best R&B Album

Lloyd Jansen – Lloyd Jansen

Song of the year

Zahara – Loliwe

Best Styled Artist/Group

Somizi – 9 Lives (My Genesis)

Hit Single of the year

DJ Sbu ft Zahara – Le ngoma

Best Collaboration of the year

Morale ft Zola – Ayamaah

Best Music Video

– Nondumiso Tembe – Just a Guy - Gcwalisile Khanyile