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25 Things you didn’t know about SAMAs

  • There are a total 36 categories awarded (these categories change from year to year to accommodate changes in music styles and genres)
  • Top 5 awards (Album of the year, Best Newcomer, Best Female artist, Best male artist, Best group)
  • The top 5 was first introduced in 1995 with the album of the year introduced in 2007
  • The first artist to win album of the year was Simphiwe Dana
  • Adjudication process starts in September
  • Nominees are announced end of March
  • Only citizens and permanent residents of South Africa are eligible for nomination.
  • Before the adjudication process, a Supervisory Committee is set up
  • Judges consist of: journalists, critics, musicians, producers and academics
  • The judges remain anonymous to avoid judges influencing each other
  • SAMAs have 3 judging phases
  • 1st Phase the Committee determine the categories, rules and criteria for entries
  • 2nd Phase receiving of entries, results of entries and auditing
  • 3rd Phase top 3 entries from each genre is selected
  • The 1995 Best Female artist: Brenda Fassie, Best Male artist: Jabu Khanyile, Best New Comer: Soweto String Quartet
  • Arthur Mafokate on stage defiance forced organisers to introduce the Kwaito Award in the following year. In group Boomshaka recreated and performed a funky South African National anthem which caused a public backlash.
  • In 2001 Brenda Fassie was seen fighting with Mandoza over an award Mandoza but Brenda Fassie demanded it as hers.
  • SAMAs 22 became the first awards show to broadcast using virtual reality
  • Bob Mabena the veteran radio and tv presenter is the oldest host to have presented the awards at 50 years of age.
  • Suncity the venue where SAMAs are held was also built in the 90s
  • Suncity has always been a home for the SAMAs except for only 3 years in 25 years which were held somewhere else.
  • The actual award is gold-plated statuette
  • First ever awards were held in Alberton Civic Centre
  • The SAMAs have only been held in 3 places which are ICC in Durban, Alberton Civic Centre and Suncity.
  • Mafikizolo is the only music group/artist to have won 2 Album of the year awards

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