AKA, K.O, Kabza De Small and DJ Maphorisa lead the SAMA29 nominees list

Johannesburg – Hip-hop and dance artists snapped up top honours as the nominees for SAMA29 were announced this morning.
The Soweto Theatre in Jabulani, Soweto buzzed with excitement as the industry gathered to toast finalists in this year’s edition of the SAMA nominees announcement. Albums and singles released between 1 February 2022 and 14 April 2023 were considered for SAMA29.
“The announcement is a culmination of months of preparations behind the scenes as committees comprised of major and independent labels finalised SAMA29 rules and judging criteria as well as the selection of judges drawn from the music industry and ancillary professionals in media, academic institutions and cultural bodies. Simply put, the SAMA puts the artist first and is driven by the industry, for the industry.” Said SAMA Project Lead Refiloe Ramogase in the welcoming address at the nominee announcement.
The late AKA leads the pack with a tally of no less than seven nods for his album Mass Country in the categories of Male Artist of the Year; Album of the Year; Best Engineered Album; Best Hip-Hop Album; Best Collaboration (for the single Lemons (Lemonade) featuring Nasty C); Best Collaboration (for the single Company featuring Kiddominant); and Best Produced Music Video (for Lemons (Lemonade) featuring Nasty C.

A Final Call For #SAMA29 Entries


Hot on his heels is fellow rapper K.O who garnered no less than six nominations thanks to his album SR3 and the single Sete featuring Young Stunna and Blxckie. He is nodded in the categories of Male Artist of the Year, Album of the Year, Best Hip Hop Album, Best Collaboration, Best Produced Music Video and Remix of the Year for Sete featuring Young Stunna, Oxlade and Diamond Platnumz.
Sjava’s Isibuko album earned him a spot in the fiercely contested Male Artist of the Year, Album of the Year, Best Produced Album and Best Engineered Album.
The maestros of Amapiano, Kabza De Small and DJ Maphorisa, earned at least four and three nominations respectively, they further walked away with two nods for their collaboration as Scorpion Kings.
Sincerely Anne bagged an impressive three nods for Newcomer of the Year, Female Artist of the Year and Best Engineered Album for To Whom it May Concern.
Ntokozo Mbambo’s Lavish Worship is the only album by a woman competing in the Album of the Year category, she is also up for Female Artist of the Year award and Best Contemporary Faith Album.
The Maskandi Album category is a battle royale between Menzi with Ngeke Ungiphathe,  Khuzani for Umqhele Nethawula, Thokozani Langa’s Is’khiye Se-Coldroom, Abafana Bakamgqumeni for Iphakade Lami and Inkos’yamagcokama with Home Alone.
In the Best Jazz Album category, In the Spirit of Ntu by Linda Sikhakhane’s Isambulu, Nduduzo Makhathini goes up against Thandi Ntuli’s Blk Elija & The Children of Meroë, Mthunzi Mvubu’s The 1st Gospel and Shane Cooper and Mabuta’s Finish the Sun.
The nominees cut across a variety of genres and reflect the vibrant nature of South African music as well as the competitive spirit that fuels creativity and flair that feeds the pulse of the industry.
The nominees reveal event hosted by television personality Nomalanga Shozi, also included the announcement of KwaZulu-Natal province as the home of the SAMA for the next three years. It was attended by dignitaries such as Siboniso Duma, the MEC of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs (EDTEA); Nhlanhla Sibisi, CEO of the Recording Industry of South Africa (RiSA); high ranking government officials; musicians; entertainment personalities and influencers.

#Road2SAMA29 set to kick off on 3 October 2023 with nominee and new home announcement – Save The Date

Siboniso Duma, KZN EDTEA Minister had this to say: “We bring warm wishes from more than 11, 2 million citizens from the Zulu Kingdom. The majority of people back home are excited that we are here for this historic announcement. We are humbled by the fact that we will host SAMA Awards over the next three years.”
Dichaba Phalatse, Marketing Manager of SABC Video Entertainment commented: “South African music plays a major role and as SABC1 we always want to make sure that local music is celebrated. The channel’s partnership with the South African Music Awards shows our commitment in supporting the legacy of local artists as they continue to produce music of all genres for South Africans to enjoy. Congratulations to all the SAMA29 nominees.”
RiSA CEO Nhlanhla Sibisi congratulated the nominees: “We are proud to present the class of SAMA29 who over a 14-month period put out some of the best tunes, collaborations and music videos in the country. We commend their artistry, resilience and tenacity that have led to them rising to the top and positioning themselves to be in line for the highest music accolade South Africa can bestow on an artist. We wish them well as we embark on the road to SAMA29 in KwaZulu-Natal.”

  • SAMA29 will be staged at the Durban ICC on the weekend of 17 and 18 November 2023 and broadcast live on SABC1.


Full list of nominees

Best Engineered Album

  • To Whom It May Concern – Sincerely Anne, Engineered by Tjaart van der Walt & Daniel Baron
  • Mass Country – AKA, Engineered by Robin Kohl & Itu
  • Kanniedood – Francois van Coke, Engineered by Taylor Soundworks
  • Blk Elijah & The Children of Meroë – Thandi Ntuli, Engineered by Shane, Tshepo, Thandi & Clinton
  • Isibuko – Sjava Engineered by Ruff

Best African Adult Contemporary Album

  • Celebrating African Song – Dumza Maswana
  • Smile – Choko
  • I am Gold – S’nazo
  • Usiba Lwe Gazi – Nathi
  • Ubuhle – Lethiwe Sithole

Best Alternative Album

  • Glitch Vol. 2: The Future Is Now – uBeyond
  • Synthetic Hearts – Msaki x Tubatsi
  • Blue Lawns – The Great Yawn
  • Leaving All The Time – Bye Beneco
  • On The Romance of Being – Desire Marea

Best Amapiano Album

  • Amukelani – Kelvin Momo
  • Ba Straata – DJ Maphorisa and Visca
  • 2.0 Nkwari – Myztro
  • KOA II Part 1 – Kabza De Small
  • Scorpion Kings Live Sun Arena – DJ Maphorisa and Kabza De Small

Best Classical/Instrumental Album

  • Live In Europe 22 – CH2
  • Fire Beast – Vox Chamber Choir & Franco Prinsloo
  • One Night On Earth (Live in Concert) – Derek Gripper
  • Maike – Juliet String Quartet
  • Sanctuary – Carol Thorns

Best Collaboration

  • K.O feat Young Stunna & Blxckie – Sete
  • AKA feat Nasty C – Lemons (Lemonade)
  • DJ Maphorisa and Visca feat 2woshort, Stompiiey, ShaunMusiq, Ftears and Madumane – Ba Straata
  • Morda & Oscar Mbo feat Murumba Pitch – Mohigan Sun
  • AKA & Kiddominant – Company

Best Pop Album

  • Things We Don’t Talk About – Jimmy Nevis
  • Heard You Got Love – Jeremy Loops
  • Game Over – Tyler Page
  • Seasons – Lloyiso
  • Petrichor – Amy Lilley

Best Produced Album

  • Things we Don’t Talk About – Jimmy Nevis, Produced by Darren Petersen
  • KOA II Part 1 – Kabza De Small, Produced by Da Muziqal Chef, Mdu aka TRP, Stakev, DJ Maphorisa, Felo Le Tee
  • Amukelani – Kelvin Momo, Produced by Kelvin Momo
  • Lindokuhle – Mlindo the Vocalist, Produced by Mthunzi, Howard, Herc, Tshepo Morome, DJ Maphorisa, Masiano
  • Isibuko – Sjava Produced by Webmoms, Delayde, Ruff, Jah Cool

Best Produced Music Video

  • AKA ft Nasty C – Lemons (Lemonade), Produced by Tebogo Mabaso, Directed By Nate Thomas
  • K.O ft Young Stunna & Blxckie – Sete, Directed by Ted Magerman, Produced by K.O, Tsholofelo Moremedi & Ted Magerman
  • Desire Marea – Be Free, Directed by Imraan Christian, Produced by Will Nicholson
  • Tyla – Been Thinking, Directed by Meiji Alabi, Producer Jimi Adesanya
  • Elaine – Shine, Directed by Jesse Ray Diamond, Produced by Shayna Gianelli

Best R&B/Soul Album

  • 4LUV (Deluxe) – Blxckie
  • But Could The Moments in Between – Manana
  • Germander II – FLVME
  • Bad Weather – Nanette
  • Passion Fruit – Kabomo

Best Reggae Album

  • Ghetto Youth’s Cry – Botanist Mr Lamington
  • Unleashed – Blakka Yut
  • Maximum Stylez Presents: Red Carpet Live, Vol 1 – Various Artists (Edna Montse, Pepsin, Skeleton Blazer, Reign Afrika, Zama Sunshine & Moon Queen)
  • Flight Mode Riddim – Blackness Blue Productions
  • Healing – Lavoro Duro

Beste Kontemporere Musiek Album

  • Sing, Hoop, Weerklink – Prop
  • Skree Net Sag – ALTEREGO
  • Ep In F – Herman Kleinhans
  • Jagvat – Jan Rhaap
  • Toe Roep Ek Jou Naam – Jan Blohm & Ryno Velvet
  • Katryn – Stefan Jansen

Remix of the Year

  • Mörda & Yallunder – Ndinovalo, remixed by Mörda (Bongani Mohosana)
  • K.O ft Young Stunna, Oxlade & Diamond Platnumz – Sete, remixed by K.O
  • Citizen Deep and Mzux Maen ft Yasmin Levy – Hayii Citizen Deep Remix, remixed by Citizen Deep
  • Lebo Mathosa – Au Dede (ft Karyendasoul), remixed by Karyendasoul
  • Myztro ft Focalistic, Daliwonga, ShaunMusiQ, Ftears – Tobetsa Remake, remixed by Myztro, ShaunMusiQ and FTears.

Rest Of Africa Award

  • Sad Romance – Ckay
  • Timeless – Davido
  • Worry < – Tim Lyre
  • Dynastie – Ferre Gola
  • Sounds of Peace – Moreira Chonguiça
  • I’m Alive – Sha Sha

Best Gqom Album

  • Fikelephi – Sizwe Mdlalose
  • Meeting With The King – DJ Lag
  • Love & Light – Cairo CPT
  • Nande 2.0 – DJ Sandiso
  • Ithuba – Newlandz Finest

Best African Indigenous Faith Album

  • Ba Ya Mo Nyatsa – Wacha Mkhukhu Wachumlilo
  • Mantswe a Supileng – Spiritual Gospel Choir
  • Ikhoni Mfuyo – In Zion of Christ
  • Emmanuel (Farewell to Phodiso Joel Kgaudi) – JTG Gospel Choir
  • Ntate le Rato la hao – Ingqayizivele Gospel Choir

Newcomer of the Year

  • Myztro – 2.0 Nkwari
  • Blakka Yut – Unleashed
  • Sincerely Anne – To Whom It May Concern
  • Lloyiso – Seasons
  • Venom and Shishiliza – Love is Pain

Duo/Group of the Year

  • DJ Maphorisa & Visca – Ba Straata
  • Venom & Shishiliza – Love is Pain
  • Mafikizolo – Idwala
  • DJ Maphorisa and Kabza De Small – Scorpion Kings Live Sun Arena
  • Msaki x Tubatsi – Synthetic Hearts

Female Artist of the Year

  • Kelly Khumalo – From A God To A King
  • Ntokozo Mbambo – Lavish Worship
  • Sincerely Anne – To Whom It May Concern
  • Hle – Take Heart
  • Thandi Ntuli – Blk Elijah and The Children of Moroë

Best Dance Album

  • Next Level – Russell Zuma
  • Asante – Mörda
  • We Live 4 Our Music (W4LOM) – Karyendasoul
  • The Gospel According to Artwork Sounds – Artwork Sounds
  • A New Dawn – DJ Kabila

Best Adult Contemporary Album

  • Memories – Drakensberg Boys Choir
  • Ndikhethiwe – Vusi Nova
  • Love – Viwo Kulati
  • Dark Secrets – Louise Carver
  • Bait For Steps Forward – Nobuhle Ashanti

Best Afro-Pop Album

  • Love is Pain – Venom & Shishiliza
  • Idwala – Mafikizolo
  • From A God To A King – Kelly Khumalo
  • Isibuko – Sjava
  • Ekhayakomama – Phila Dlozi

Best HipHop Album

  • Diaspora – Maglera Doe Boy
  • Life is Gangsta – Thato Saul
  • SR3 – K.O
  • Mass Country – AKA
  • This Is Religion – MashBeatz

Best Jazz Album

  • Finish The Sun – Shane Cooper & Mabuta
  • The 1st Gospel – Mthunzi Mvubu
  • Blk Elijah & The Children of Moroë – Thandi Ntuli
  • The Spirit of Ntu – Nduduzo Makhathini
  • Isambulo – Linda Sikhakhane

Male Artist of the Year

  • Kabza De Small – KOA II Part 1
  • AKA – Mass Country
  • Sjava – Isibuko
  • K.O – SR3
  • Lloyiso – Seasons

Album of the Year

  • AKA – Mass Country
  • K.O – SR3
  • Sjava – Isibuko
  • Kabza De Small – KOA II Part 1
  • Lavish Worship – Ntokozo Mbambo

Best Rock Album

  • Testify – Basson Laubscher & The Violent Free Peace
  • Fine Thanks, and You? – Shortstraw
  • Fuzigish – Fuzigish
  • Hellcats – End of Days
  • Kanniedood – Francois van Coke

Best Maskandi Album

  • Home Alone – Inkos’yamagcokama
  • Ngeke Ungiphathe – Menzi
  • Is’khiye Se-Coldroom – Thokozani Langa
  • Iphakade lami – Abafana Baka Mqgumeni
  • Umqhele neThawula – Khuzani

Best Kwaito Album

  • I Am Who I Am – Nkiyase
  • Speak N Vrostaan – Kwesta & Kabza De Small
  • R Mashesha – Big Nuz
  • Jukebox – Shisa Boy
  • Barabbas – Taylor K

Best Traditional Faith Album

  • Ndiyabulela – Hush
  • The Overflow Gcwala Kimi – Dumi Mkokstad
  • Hoja Ke Sena Wena – IPCC
  • The Grace Encounter, Vol. 1 – Bucy Radebe
  • Sedi Laka – Soweto Gospel Choir

Best Contemporary Faith Album

  • Take Heart – Hle
  • Lavish Worship – Ntokozo Mbambo
  • Mhalamhala – Brenden Praise
  • Restored (Live Recording) – The Jesus Collective
  • Hope – Soweto Gospel Choir

Best Traditional Album

  • Obe Happy – Ntata Mafahla
  • Inkabi Nation – Inkabi Nation
  • African Queen 2.0 – Makhadzi
  • Ke Bone Molelo O Timile – MmaAusi
  • A Reyeng Bahurutshe – Thebe Arts Group

Beste Pop Album

  • Hittegolf – Eloff
  • Insomnia – Brendan Peyper
  • Loufi Flippen Loufi – Loufi
  • Die Onbekende – Rooksein
  • Jona – Bernice West

Connect with the SAMAs:
Instagram: @thesamas_
Twitter: @TheSAMAs
TikTok: @thesamas_
YouTube: samusicawards
Facebook: South African Music Awards
Website: www.samusicawards.co.za
Hashtags: #SAMA29

‘Sponono’ by AKA & Sjava, featuring 031 Choppa x S.O.N out now!

Johannesburg, Wednesday, 5 July 2023  ‘Sponono’ forms part of the chart-topping album ‘Mass Country’, which has been the highlight of South African hip hop this 2023. The album has topped charts for over 23 weeks peaking at #1 on both the Apple Music Hip Hop albums charts and Apple Music album charts. ‘Sponono’ has already officially been certified Gold in South Africa and has garnered over 2.6 Million streams worldwide, proving it to be the perfect follow up single this winter season. In celebration of the milestone the single is officially being sampled to national radio, creating a platform for the featured artists to honour AKA through various supporting activities.

‘Sponono’ is the second single release off of the award-winning album ‘Mass Country’,  post its release on February 24th 2023. To date 5 singles from ‘Mass Country’ have been certified Platinum and Gold, with ‘Sponono’ being the 6th certification, proving that ‘Mass Country’ is the Megacy’s favourite art piece from the Supa Mega, certifying his undeniable talent that lives on amongst his fans.


‘Sponono’ is an ode to love, an unashamed expression of love and appreciation by a man in love. The term itself is a Sotho term, used to refer to the utmost beauty of a black woman, praising her beauty and affirming her. Living up to its authentic expression, Supa Mega’s verse is dedicated to his partner, Nadia Nakai, proclaiming that this is real love, it’s ride or die… perfect combination, suit and tie, angel, halo see you in my dreams in porcelain white”.  He further goes on to state how she was God-sent and was his anchor and sense of peace during stormy seasons.

‘Sponono’ was produced by reputable producers 031 CHOPPA, Xivonaki Manzini as well as Tshupo Khutsoane who have worked with the likes of Sjava, Costa Titch, Phila Dlozi, Prince Kaybee & JR.
AKA & Sjava – Sponono (Official Audio) ft. Baby S.O.N, 031 Choppa

To date Mass Country has garnered the following milestone awards:Lemons (Lemonade) certified 4 x Platinum, which features Nasty C;Company, ft KIDDO certified Platinum;Dangerous which features Blxckie & Nadia Nakai certified Gold;Prada ft Khuli Chana certified Gold;Mbuzi (Freestyle) featuring Thato Saul certified Gold.Sponono certified Gold. 
AKA’s mother had this to say about the release:
“Mass Country meant everything to Kiernan. He would be so proud of all the accolades and grateful to the Megacy for showing up for him yet again. His legacy continues with his music and his new single, Sponono, allows the world to reconnect with him again.” – Lynn Forbes

Speaking of the making of the song and the experience of working with AKA, this is what the artists had to say

“Wrote this hook thinking about the love of my life, My Sponono. And on this song I’m expressing that I would do whatever it takes to be with her. I produced the beat with the gents think I was just gonna produce then me and Son started vibing out then Forbes walked in and said that’s the hook for the beat. The rest is history”

Baby S.O.N
Sponono! What a beautiful moment.”

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About AKA

AKA, Also known as SUPA MEGA and BHOVA in the South African entertainment industry has spent the last 10 years pushing boundaries of African Hip Hop with a series of killer singles and albums.

When he drops, the country stops to listen and the buss is no more than justified. Singles such as All Eyes On Me featuring Burna Boy, Fela In Versace, Jika, Don’t Forget To Pray, The World Is Yours & Caiphus Song have all been nominated for the RECORD OF THE YEAR at South African Music Awards.

AKA has also received global recognition through the success of his albums with award nominations reaching the UK and United States. Today, AKA has built a personal brand that everyone seems to want a piece of. He has endorsement, he hosted award shows, presented on TV, he pervades social media and he used to headline festivals across Africa prior to the pandemic.

AKA has also partnered up with CRUS VODKA to take the brand to the world. He has seen success in the watermelon flavour that he introduced to the brand and that has given him another opportunity to introduce a limited edition Banana Delux Flavour which he launched in November 2020.