The Drama of the Sama’s. The theme – black and white. The vibe: electric. The result: a breathe taking show, displaying some of South Africa’s talent and ability to pull off a world class function!
I arrived with my friend, and co-host of the awards, Pabi Moloi on the Saturday morning and we headed directly for the Superbowl for rehearsal. My jaw hit the floor as I saw the design of Monday night, and secretly I wanted to automatically fast forward and see the final product! But patience and attentiveness was worth it. The rehearsals kicked off and I saw all the guest surprises: Arthur Mafokate, Sipho “Hotstix” Mabuse, Riaan Cruywagen and all the surprise performances! I could not say a word until the night. This was very difficult!
I am an artist and I have done live shows before, but I had never seen organisation on this level! All the artists were linked to each other, to each band member, to “Rasta” the sound engineer, to the creative director and to the speakers.
I then got to mingle with some of the finest in the industry. I sat next to Randall while munching Heintz Weinkler’s nuts (cashew! Sies Mzansi) and biltong, whilst listening to Unathi, Heintz, Zonke, Arthur, Swazi, Pabi, Jen Su, Sizwe and Kabelo bolt out the beautiful opening medley “SAMA Drama happens around May”. My head had this tune, as well as Zahara’s Loliwe running on autoplay! I got incredible insight into the industry which would have me sitting down behind my keyboard as soon as I got home, creating my own music.
“Lights! Sound! And spotlight on Zahara NOW!” I was listening to the creative director who was sitting next to me during rehearsal direct the whole show! Mzansi music magic was all around me, all I had to do was sit and soak it in. Of course I grabbed time to go have my nails done and relax in the steam room. Sun City staff treated us like royalty, as usual.
We got some spectacular gifts. My Plum boots will give me warmth this winter! You could spot Ray Bans on everyone’s face, and squashing the rest of the extra luggage in the car was hysterical.
The morning of the SAMA was bitter sweet. I had to say goodbye to my new found music friends, or rather “see you later”. I got zhooshed up in my black dress and headed for a KIA that was waiting to take Pabi and I to the Yellow Carpet. My gorgeous friend, dressed in a stunning white dress, did her interviews, and after some pre-drinks and a stolen shot of Shadowclub, it was time for the SAMA DRAMA.
I sat down and waited for the countdown. Zahara opened beautifully with Loliwe, a song that had me in tears a few days earlier, and was followed by the very well rehearsed opening medley. The crowd thoroughly enjoyed the ensemble and were singing between commercial breaks! The dancers enhanced a superb performance by Jack Parrow and AKA.
Vusi Mahesela was given a well deserved lifetime achievement award and Lloyd Cele took the award for Best Pop Album, Mi Casa put on an excellent performance and walked away with a few awards including Group of the Year, and Record of the Year.
But the star of the show was clearly Zahara. Her singing was spectacular and gave me goosebumps and was phenomenal. Those eight SAMA awards were well derserved.
I hope to experience many more SAMA award ceremonies, and who knows, one day I will get a nomination. But for now I will give a standing ovation to my fellow artists. They are proof, that South African Music cannot, and will never die.