Despite releasing a very brief official statement regarding their choice to renege on their initial plan to honour Zola 7 with a lifetime achievement award, organisers of the South African Music Awards (Samas) have remained relatively mum about what really drove their decision.
Sowetan initially reported that Zola 7 (real name Bonginkosi Dlamini) was listed as one of the three possible recipients of a lifetime achievement award during this year’s proceedings. He was even informed of this and reportedly began looking forward to proceedings.
The special award is reserved for producers or recording artists who have contributed significantly to the development, advancement and upliftment of the South African music industry throughout their career and is usually given to three people each year.
Previous honorees include the likes of the late HHP (Jabulani Tsambo), Mbongeni Ngema, Hugh Masekela, Miriam Makeba and Yvonne Chaka Chaka.
This year, only Bishop Benjamin Dube and Dan Tshanda received their awards and Zola was reportedly informed a week prior to the show that he would no longer be getting his. This news is said to have crushed the musician’s spirit.
When asked for comment by the Citizen, RiSA simply repeated their CEO Nhlanhla Sibisi’s original statement: “We received a number of nominations for Lifetime Achievement Award which were considered by the board. After a lengthy deliberation, the number was reduced to three and later to two. The decision of the board on Lifetime Achievement Award is final.”
While there has been no confirmation of this on the part of the Recording Industry of South Africa (RiSA) who organise the Samas, reports claim that Zola’s troubled past is what counted against him.
He has been named in numerous domestic disputes and allegations of violence against women. He had also once let his dog attack a journalist whom he had invited to his home for an interview.
Tales that remain fresh in the minds of South Africans.
Despite feeling sorry for him, die-hard fans of the musician are looking forward to hearing a new collaboration between Zola and Cassper Nyovest on a track called Bonginkosi (which just so happens to be the musician’s name).
— R.M Phoolo (@casspernyovest) August 18, 2020