Sandisiwe Mbhele
Lifestyle Journalist
2 minute read
24 May 2021
9:51 am

Do we even need the Samas any more, asks Khuli Chana

Sandisiwe Mbhele

Four-time winner and rapper Khuli Chana weighs in on the importance of award shows.

International DJ Black Coffee. Picture: Instagram

The fallout around awards shows is growing, following the release of the South African Music Awards (Samas) nominations for the 27th annual show last week.

First up was the big snub of Makhadzi, who received no nominations, then Kelly Khumalo asked for her nomination to be rescinded because of the category her album was placed in, best afro-pop. The Voice of Africa singer said the nomination was an “insult”.

READ NEXT: Samas: Makhadzi gets zero nominations and Kelly Khumalo unimpressed with her nod

City Press reported on Sunday that DJ Black Coffee was aware of the scrutiny of his personal life during the past few months and the current public spat with his estranged wife Enhle Mbali Mlotshwa.

According to “insiders” close to Black Coffee, he asked Sama organisers not to consider his body of work from the past year. Black Coffee has won eight Samas to date.

The Samas can’t seem to shake off allegations by some artists that it is “bought” by certain record labels. “Deserving” musicians don’t get their dues or recognition. Sama spokesman Lesley Mofokeng said earlier in the year that the Samas had been consistent over the years and had judging systems in place that operated with integrity.

Hip hop artist Khuli Chana also weighed in on the importance of award shows. There is a growing trend not just locally, but globally, pointing to the need for them.

Do award shows still matter?

It cannot be denied awards shows in music and film have lost their prestige. Ratings continue to decline, with actors and artists boycotting them.

Chana, who has won four Samas, said they need to “change”.

“With all these award shows, the Samas need to ask themselves this question: why do we still need a Sama? I am emphatic in that they will never ever get it right and they can’t appease everybody. But what needs to be communicated is why is it important,” he told The Citizen. 

Chana says artists are reflecting on their importance, asking questions about whether they will affect careers in a negative way.

“Over the years it has become negative, since something that is clouded by a lot of negativity can lose its prestige. But they need to get together and remind people why it was created. It is time for the Samas to be redefined.”

He added that they need to allow a “younger perspective” and ideas.