It was opened up by the SAMA winning songbird Judith Sephuma, standing in a deserted grand old theatre, where she belted her melodious hit Maropeng.
She ethereally glides over the song accompanied by a contemporary dancer, while the empty seats in the beautifully lit establishment stand as a stark reminder of the lockdown rules and social distancing norms South Africa is currently experiencing. Ami Faku delivered an emotionally charged and haunting Inde Lendlela supported by two instrumentalists in an empty yet intimate outdoor venue under bright party lights.
It was a night of heavyweights as Prince Kaybee emerged as the biggest winner clinching the coveted Male Artist of the Year accolade for his album Re Mmino. Bishop Benjamin Dube took the Best Contemporary Faith Music Album for Glory In His Presence, he is also a SAMA26 Lifetime Achievement Award honouree. Samthing Soweto walked away with the Best Afro-Pop Album award for Isphithiphithi.
Reggae star Bongo Riot Di Dancehall Wakanda claimed the gong for Best Reggae Album for True Stories while Lo-Ghost were triumphant in Best Alternative Music Album for Cult Pop.
Emerging talent made its presence felt as young crooner Lungisa Xhamela made a splash winning the Best R&B/Soul Album for My Heart To Your Soul. Ndlovu Youth Choir stomped their way to the Best Adult Contemporary Album award for Africa, while Pilani Bubu bagged the Best African Adult Contemporary Album trophy for Folklore-Chapter 1.
Hosting the proceedings, actress Dineo Langa channelled her inner goddess in a sparkly and slinky Miss Boss Couture black gown complete with a gold head piece and comedian Donovan Goliath was a picture of sophistication in a CSquared houndstooth jacket.
Comedian Skhumba Hlophe and radio personality DJ Ankletap were joined by the iconic gospel star Rebecca Malope on the MyMuze reaction crew couch that punctuated the show with their commentary.
Presenters included radio smooth man Sentle Lehoko, the gracious radio host Carol Ofori and the charismatic musician Langa Mavuso.
Nhlanhla Sibisi, RiSA CEO congratulated the winners: ‘We applaud the talent that so deservedly got honoured tonight. We are proud of their contribution to the local music landscape. We are also grateful to the many fans of music and supporters of the craft who continue to tune in and support the SAMA. Here’s to more exciting and beautifully produced episodes of SAMA26 this week.’
Rehana Hassim, Executive Head for Digital & Lifestyle at Vodacom said: “It is such an exciting time for Vodacom and My Muze to be part of the first ever digital version of the SAMAs. We are excited for the winners of tonight’s show who have displayed excellence in their industry and that we can celebrate with them all whilst staying safe at home. This is in line with our purpose of connecting people for a better future
Nomsa Philiso, the director of Local Entertainment Channels at M-Net said: “We would like to congratulate all the winners under this theme #ForThaSoul. Fans from around the country are fortunate to have this talented cohort of musos gracing the airwaves and we would like to thank them for providing us with soul food music.”
For the third night of SAMA26 music extravaganza, under the subtheme of #ForThaStreets, tune into Mzansi Magic or stream the show on mymuze.com by Vodacom at 9.30pm tomorrow.