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

Kabza De Small
Kabza De Small

At Sun International’s SunBet Arena in Pretoria for the 29th South African Music Awards (SAMAs), pianist Kabza De Small, a phenomenon in the music industry, was named the event’s outstanding performer. Presenting in association with the first Africa Feat, the event experienced a last-minute location change after the KwaZulu-Natal government declined to host.

Gospel singer Ntokozo Mbambo, who won three coveted awards—Album of the Year, Best Contemporary Faith Album, and Female Artist of the Year—followed Kabza De Small in taking center stage and garnering many accolades.

Male Artist of the Year and Best Collaboration for “Lemons (Lemonade),” starring Nasty C, were awarded posthumously to the late AKA. He was also recognized with the Best Engineered Album Award for his album, Mass Country.

Myztro, a newcomer, won Newcomer of the Year with 2.0 Nkwari, while Makhadzi won Best Traditional Album for African Queen 2.0. Mörda, a solo artist, demonstrated his versatility by winning the Best Dance Album and Remix of the Year awards for his collaboration with Yallunder and Ndinovalo. Lloyiso won the Best Pop Album Award for his album Seasons.

K.O.’s “Sete,” which featured Young Stunna and Blxckie, was a hit song; it won the CAPASSO Most Streamed Song Award as well as the SAMRO Highest Airplay Composer Award.

The International Achievement Award went to Wouter Kellerman, Zakes Bantwini, and Nomcebo Zikode in recognition of their Grammy-winning song “Bayethe.”

Mandoza, Gloria Bosman, Ihhashi Elimhlophe, and Pops Mohamed received posthumous Lifetime Achievement Awards in a heartfelt ceremony in recognition of their outstanding contributions to the music business. The Rest of Africa Award went to Mozambican musician Moreira Chonguiça for his album “Sounds of Peace.”

The non-broadcast categories included the Best Jazz Album award going to Nduduzo Makhathini, the Best Maskandi Album award going to Khuzani, and the Best Traditional Faith Album award going to Dumi Mkokstad. The Best Pop Album went to Bernice West, while the Best African Adult Contemporary Album went to Nathi.

CEO of RiSA, Nhlanhla Sibisi, thanked the team for their cooperation in overcoming the obstacles they faced and making it possible to celebrate the winners. The presence of notable absentees like DJ Maphorisa, Zakes Bantwini, and K.O. highlighted the importance of the occasion.

DJ Sabby and Nomalanga Shozi hosted the SAMAs, which culminated in electrifying performances. Makhadzi surprised everyone by making an unexpected appearance on stage to accept her award. She was joined by TikTok star Skomota in a remarkable performance that left the crowd spellbound.


  • 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


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


  • 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


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


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


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