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A vast improvement for MTN SAMA 18
The widely anticipated 18th Annual MTN South African Music Awards finally took place last weekend, 29 – 30 April. Unfortunately, I did not attend the first leg of the ceremonies. However, all those whom I heard from praised it, saying it was a beautiful and well organised event. Following tweets, I also picked up that the ceremony went very well.
The following day, Monday 30 April 2012 was the main event. As per tradition, a bus was organised to transport the media from MTN Head Office to Sun City. And like I’ve done many times, I utilised this service. Leaving at about 10 in the morning, we took it easy, enjoying the all-so familiar scenery on our way to the entertainment heaven known as A Million Thrills.
When we arrived at Sun City, we headed straight to the media room where we received our accreditation. For the rest of the afternoon before the Superbowl went abuzz with activity, we toured Sun City. At some point we spent some time poolside at Cabanas Hotel, with the likes Trevor Gumbi, Trevor Madondo, Robbie Malinga, and others, in our midst.
At about 5 in the afternoon, it was time to get ready, so we made it into the hotel. Because we were not accredited for the yellow carpet this year, we took the moment to go and have dinner at a restaurant at the Cascades Hotel where buffet was decked out for the media. As we were walking out to exit the hotel, it dawned on me that this was the only chance of snapping some photos since I didn’t have access to the yellow carpet. This was where all the presenters, artists and other celebrities were staying and being picked up from, on their way to walk the famous yellow carpet. So I began waiting for them as they descended upon the reception and clicked my camera.
These are the celebs I managed to get at this point:
After taking the above photos, I headed to the Superbowl for the anticipated magic. I was disappointed that the section reserved for photographers was so far from the stage. This meant I’d also not be able to get photos of the presenters, winners, and performers as we were not allowed anywhere near the stage. And since I didn’t have an extra lens for the camera, I had no hope of getting even one usable photo. I did try though, as you will see from the photos below.
As you already know, Zahara swept almost everything off from the awards she was nominated for at the SAMAs. She walked away with a total of eight awards, a feat only managed by TKZee years ago. These included the two awards she won the previous night, as well as one she had already clinched during the non-televised segment of the second night of the SAMAs. She also opened the performances on Monday night, singing her popular songs Loliwe and Destiny.
Speaking of performances, those that made a great impression for me included the collaboration between Phuz’ekhemisi and Jozi; Shadowclub, winning an award straight after that; Spikiri, performing Ngeke Balunge with Brown Dash, Bricks, Skhokho and Madluphuthu, but without Teargas; and HHP‘s vibrant display of masterfully-choreographed panstula dance as he performed Bosso ke Kang. Another stand out performance was the last one for the night where Zakwe invited Zuluboy and Danger of Big Nuz to lend their respective parts on the Bathi Ng’yachoma Remix. What made this exciting were the tens of dancing kids in black and white outfits scattered around the floor, filling out the venue.
Other artists who walked away with multiple gongs are AKA, who took the Best Street Urban and Best Male Artist prizes; MiCasa who won three awards, including surprising everyone by walking away with the highly coveted Record Of The Year for their hit These Streets; and DJ Cleo, once again winning the digital download awards.
Also counting among the positives was the pre-recorded skits featuring Sipho ‘Hotstix’ Mabuse and Riaan Cruywagen, the two men reviewing each of the contenders for Album Of The Year throughoput the show.
As far as the unfavourable parts are concerned, the opening cabaret number by all nine hosts takes the cake. The idea was ludicrous and disconnected. I mean, who gets Sizwe Dhlomo to sing on such a big stage? As for Jen Su sounding like a cat being strangled, it was a total waste of time. The fact that were were some real singer like Swazi Dlamini in the routine didn’t help one bit.
The MiCasa and AKA (with Jack Parrow) performances had a great premise, but also failed to dazzle us. Granted, there were performances specifically shot for viewers at home, so there’s a probability that these turned out well on TV. Another segment that didn’t quite work to their favour was the quartet of guitarists that played during the ‘In Memorium’ segment. The idea was a noble and wonderful one, but the execution thereof, not so much.
Also, a bit of confusion ensued after Zakwe performed as there was no clear indication that the show was over. The abrupt end left the audience sitting or standing for more where there was nothing else happening.
Overall, the 2012 edition of the SAMAs was a great improvement from last year’s letdown. The writing was done very well; the stage looked fantastic; the performances, for the most part, entertaining and relevant; and the general production solid. Kudos to Randall Abrahams and his team for a job well done. Here’s to hoping next year is even better.
After the ceremony, we headed straight to the VIPafter party. This is where I was able to get some better photos of some of the celebrities that attended.
As I was walking out from the Superbowl to the after party, I saw MiCasa, minus Dr Duda, just after doing their interviews.
Spotted actor Sello Maake Ka Ncube at the after party. He had just been told that he had to folk out some cash for hard liquor at the bar.
Television and radio personality Bonang Matheba posed for me. I liked the white dress she wore when she presented an award better than this one.
Another television and radio personality, also model, Lunga Shabalala, posed for me as well.
Zizo Beda, the Selimathunzi presenter, looked ravishing in this multi-coloured (all peacock colours) frock.
Singer Donald was also there. His song The Love I Know I Deserve is making waves right now. It’s a pity he had to veer off to dance music before he got some love from the masses.
Spotted legendary singer Steve Kekana with a friend. Looking at the friend’s face, I wouldn’t be surprised if all those bottles were emptied by him.
Former Trompies member, Eugene Mthethwa with former Ukhozi FM station manager, Bhodloza Nzimande. I felf embarassed and annoyed earlier during the ceremony when some people seated next to me asked who he was as he accepted an award on behalf of the group he manages, the Soul Brothers.
The man of the moment Randall Abrahams with SABC 1 General Manager, Leo Manne. He told me his wife had just given birth to their second child a few weeks earlier. Congratulations to the Mannes.
I saw Bongani of Malaika with some crusty looking girl headed for the bar. I guess that’s why he didn’t want her in the picture. Don’t you think? He looked a hot mess himself.
DJ SPHEctacula and DJ Tira cleaned up well. I mentioned that I heard about Sphe‘s recent marriage (the traditional part), and he just laughed it off.
Model and TV presenter Pearl Thusi looked gorgeous. She made me make a pinky promise that I’d email her this photo. LOL
DJ Zinhle looked hot in this black little number.
Two of my favourite ladies, publicist and businesswoman Melanie Ramjee and Trace SA Brand Manager Valentine Gaudin.
Sizwe Dhlomo, who was part of the creative team that was involved with writing for the show had changed down for the after party. Great job, they did.
Guitarist Jimmy Dludlu, who had won an award earlier, looked like an extra from a Christmas movie. Or part of a cast for a circus routine. You decide.
As for these three, I approached them for a photo, speaking with Anele Mdoda at first. But they continued to chat. The guy wanted to take the picture but Anele and Elana Afrika couldn’t budge. Eventually, they posed.
Raphael Benza, from Vth Season, with a friends.
Singer, television and radio personality Stoan Seete usually looks sharp. Not sure about this get up.
DJ Cleo performing at the after party with his Teddy Bears. The way DJ Franky was ogling him as he did his hlokoloza.
DJ Cleo with another protege of his, DJ SoulT. Please caption this one for me.
Lastly, thanks to my boy Thokozani for hooking me up with this Head Honcho baseball jacket and golfer. Dope!