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By Bonginkosi Tiwane

Digital Journalist

Artists voice out their displeasure over Samas event fiasco

The KZN government announced this week the decision to abandon its plan to host the Samas ceremony in Durban next month.

The South African Music Awards (Samas) have been marred by politics this week, with little word from the artists themselves; this could be out of fear of being ostracised but the likes of Zakes Bantwini and DJ Tira have expressed their dissatisfaction with the cancellation of the awards.

This week the ANC provincial chairperson and economic development, tourism and environmental affairs MEC Siboniso Duma announced the decision to abandon its controversial R28 million plan to host the Samas ceremony in Durban next month.

Few artists have shared their opinions on the whole situation, as though waiting to see how the whole thing will pan out. But veteran musos began speaking in the last few days when it was confirmed that the awards will no longer be taking place in KZN next month.

“I feel really bad for artists that got their first nominations this year. Samas encourage us to work even harder. I remember Big Nuz losing to Bricks with Ubala but came back the following year with Umlilo and cleaned at the Samas. This is a big loss for KZN,” said DJ Tira responding to a tweet by broadcaster Sizwe Dhlomo.

Sizwe had also been responding to DJ Jack Devero who had tweeted that the Samas should just be canned.

“That’s a very tough call. Samas cost a lot of money yes but I would argue that they are very necessary. The whole thing went south once MTN pulled away,” said the Kaya FM breakfast show host.

Since the announcement from the KZN government, the awards organisers have been on a campaign on social media of protecting the Samas.

“For almost three decades, The Samas have given the stage to various artists and have also honoured legends who have paved the way in the music industry. South African music continues to contribute to the GDP of the economy and is recognised across the borders. It is in our interest and that of the industry, to keep the legacy of the Samas going,” read a caption on their Instagram page.

ALSO READ: Presidency: Ramaphosa advised KZN government against hosting the Samas

Disappointed artists

Zakes Bantwini, who is hosting his Abantu show in Cape Town on Saturday also voiced out his disappointment. “Cancelling the Samas is a BIG mistake and a saddest day for the art,” said the Grammy award winning producer.

Political commentator Khaya Sithole chipped in, asking Bantwini if other sponsors can’t come-in as a replacement.

“I thought only the sponsorship of the Samas by the KZN government was canceled? Can’t they go ahead with other sponsors and so on and so forth?” asked Sithole.

“The Samas are a great platform that has enhanced the talents and brands of many South African artists for 28 years. These awards are for the artists, the music industry and the benefit of the South African economy,” wrote rapper Khuli Chana on X (formerly Twitter).

“The Samas cancellation is actually heart-breaking,” averred the Motswako rapper.

Television  and film producer, director Legend Manqele – who created reality tv shows such as Being Bonang and Living the Dream With Somizi – was seemingly cringing about the decision to can the awards.

NOW READ: ‘It’s not a superfluous party’, says Samas boss, amid rumours event has been canned

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