Kabza De Small during Gauteng Sports Awards at Gallagher Convention Centre on November 13, 2021 in Midrand, South Africa.

Kabza De Small during Gauteng Sports Awards at Gallagher Convention Centre on November 13, 2021 in Midrand, South Africa.

Photo by Oupa Bopape/Gallo Images via Getty Images.

Amapiano Maestro Kabza De Small Dominates 29th South African Music Awards

Kabza De Small dominates 29th SAMAs with multiple wins. Gospel sensation Ntokozo Mbambo shines, AKA receives posthumous honors and heartfelt recognitions mark an unforgettable night of South African music excellence.

Amapiano sensation Kabza De Small emerged as the standout performer at the 29th South African Music Awards (SAMAs), held at Sun International’s SunBet Arena in Pretoria. The event, presented in collaboration with the inaugural Africa Feat, witnessed a last-minute venue change after the KwaZulu-Natal government withdrew from hosting.

Kabza De Small seized the spotlight, securing multiple victories, while gospel singer Ntokozo Mbambo followed closely with three prestigious awards, including Female Artist of the Year, Album of the Year, and Best Contemporary Faith Album.

The late AKA posthumously received accolades for Male Artist of the Year and Best Collaboration for "Lemons (Lemonade)," featuring Nasty C. His album, Mass Country, was also honored with the Best Engineered Album Award.

Newcomer Myztro claimed the Newcomer of the Year title for 2.0 Nkwari, and Makhadzi triumphed in the Best Traditional Album category with African Queen 2.0. Solo artist Mörda showcased his versatility, securing victories in the Best Dance Album and Remix of the Year categories for Ndinovalo, a collaboration with Yallunder. Lloyiso's Seasons earned him the Best Pop Album Award.

K.O's "Sete," featuring Young Stunna and Blxckie, excelled as it received the SAMRO Highest Airplay Composer Award and CAPASSO Most Streamed Song Award.

Wouter Kellerman, Zakes Bantwini, and Nomcebo Zikode received the International Achievement Award for their Grammy-winning track "Bayethe."

In a touching moment, Lifetime Achievement Awards were posthumously bestowed upon Mandoza and Gloria Bosman, alongside Ihhashi Elimhlophe and Pops Mohamed for their remarkable contributions to the music industry. Mozambican saxophonist Moreira Chonguiça secured the Rest of Africa Award for his album "Sounds of Peace."

The non-broadcast categories featured Nduduzo Makhathini's Best Jazz Album win, Khuzani's triumph in the Best Maskandi Album category, and Dumi Mkokstad's victory for Best Traditional Faith Album. Bernice West and Nathi claimed Best Pop Album and Best African Adult Contemporary Album, respectively.

Reflecting on the challenges faced, RiSA CEO Nhlanhla Sibisi expressed gratitude for the collaborative spirit that allowed the celebration of the winners. Absentees such as K.O, DJ Maphorisa, and Zakes Bantwini were represented, underscoring the significance of the evening.

The SAMAs, hosted by DJ Sabby and Nomalanga Shozi, concluded with electrifying performances, including a surprise appearance by Makhadzi, who, despite not being on stage to collect her award, captivated the audience with a memorable performance accompanied by TikTok sensation Skomota.

See a selection of the winners below or check out the full list here.

Female Artist of the Year

  • Winner: Ntokozo Mbambo – Lavish Worship
  • Kelly Khumalo – From A God To A King
  • Sincerely Anne – To Whom It May Concern
  • Hle – Take Heart
  • Thandi Ntuli – Blk Elijah & The Children of Meroë

Male Artist of the Year

  • Winner: AKA – Mass Country
  • Kabza De Small – KOA II Part 1
  • Sjava – Isibuko
  • K.O – SR3
  • Lloyiso – Seasons

Duo/Group of the Year

  • Winner: DJ Maphorisa and Kabza De Small – Scorpion Kings Live Sun Arena
  • DJ Maphorisa and Visca – Ba Straata
  • Venom and Shishiliza – Love Is Pain
  • Mafikizolo – Idwala
  • Msaki and Tubatsi – Synthetic Hearts

Album of the Year

  • Winner: Lavish Worship – Ntokozo Mbambo
  • Mass Country – AKA
  • SR3 – K.O
  • Isibuko – Sjava
  • KOA II Part 1 – Kabza De Small

Newcomer of the Year

  • Winner: Myztro – 2.0 Nkwari
  • Blakka Yut – Unleashed
  • Sincerely Anne – To Whom It May Concern
  • Lloyiso – Seasons
  • Venom and Shishiliza – Love Is Pain