Brenda Fassie was posthumously honored at the 10th annual South African Music Awards (SAMAs), held Saturday (May 29) at Sun City, outside Johannesburg.
Fassie–who died May 9 this year–was recognized with the prestigious awards for best-selling album and song of the decade, for “Memeza” and “Vuli’indlela,” respectively. These two accolades were created for this year’s 10th anniversary gala, which coincides with South Africa’s decade of democracy celebrations. The three-hour show, which was broadcast live on public broadcaster SABC 1, closed with a medley of Fassie songs.
Fassie’s longtime producer Sello “Chicco” Twala received one of three lifetime achievement awards. The other two honorees were crossover group Juluka and “Big Voice” Jack Lerole, the late penny whistle player.
Jazz music’s recent dominance of the SAMAs continued with several jazz artists taking major awards. Zim Ngqawana took best male artist for “Vadzimu,” and Swazi earning a trophy in the best female artist category for her album “My First Love”.
Afro-pop group Mafikizolo secured the title of best group for the album “Kwela” while Adilah, 2003 winners of the South African Popstars talent search, took the award for best newcomer for “Ses’fikile”.
An industry panel decided all but three of the 39 categories. Song of the decade, song of the year, and artist of the year were decided by public votes. Mzekezeke won the latter two for his song “Akekhu’gogo”.
Newly-appointed minister of arts and culture Dr Pallo Jordan attended the event. He praised the “huge strides made by South African musicians over the past 10 years”.