“CORRUPT SCHEME”| Zakes Bantwini Drags The SAMAs Despite Winning

“CORRUPT SCHEME”| Zakes Bantwini Drags The SAMAs Despite Winning

Acclaimed musician and DJ Zakes Bantwini has attacked the South African Music Awards (SAMA), accusing the organisers of corruption.

Zakes berated the show in a lengthy Instagram post, criticising how the show is organised, the poor attendance and the corruption of the judges.

He won Best Collaboration and Samro Highest Radio Airplay Composers gongs at the event held at Sun City in North West on Sunday.

Zakes Bantwini Drags SAMAs
 [Image: zakesbantwini/Instagram]

Over the years, the judges of the SAMAs have been accused of selling the awards to the highest bidders. Because of this alleged corruption, artists like Cassper Nyovest have sworn never to submit their songs for consideration.

On Sunday, there was a storm on Twitter, after a little-known artist Haqsul Musiq, with 80 YouTube subscribers and two uploaded videos, won Artist Of The Year, beating nine other artists, including Makhadzi, Musa Keys and Emtee.

In 2020, the SAMAs raised the ire of South Africans after they completely snubbed Jerusalema by Master KG and Nomcebo Zikode, despite it being a global smash hit.

Below is the full text of ZakesBantwini’s criticism of the SAMAs.

First and foremost, I want to take this moment to thank everyone who was involved in the making of OSAMA. This song has meant a lot to Kasango & Myself and to millions whom it has reached around the world.

For over two decades, the SAMAs have been the highest accolade that could be bestowed on South African artists and have represented a standard of creative excellence that marked the height of success for those in the creative sector.

Regrettably, the SAMAS have broken our trust. They have devalued the honour and prestige that the awards once stood for. There is no integrity in the way in which the show is being produced, the planning, the awarding of artists & in extending the basic courtesy of RESPECT TO THE ARTIST!!!

After 15 years of a career I have given my life to, I earn my first two awards; after over 28 nominations and years of being overlooked, I finally checked a major milestone in my career.

Zakes Bantwini Drags SAMAs
Zakes Bantwini Drags The SAMAs For Corruption. [Image: zakesbantwini/Instagram]

Regrettably, this year happens to be the lowest point of these awards, and I receive these awards with a heavy heart. The lack of attendance by artists nominated is just one sign of what THE ARTISTS THINK OF SAMAS organisers and stakeholders!

This is a result of years of the judging processes being unjust, corrupt and myopic thinking and a lack of vision.

Our coveted award show depicts a looted SOE and reeks of nepotism and traces of bureaucracy.

This year we witnessed a disgraceful act which robbed us of national pride; these awards have become a slap in the face to so many that I am unable to find the words to describe my shock and disappointment.

I am being called upon to say something at this time as we have stooped to a new level of The South African Music Awards. The SAMA Judges have converted the awards into a Promotional show and a money-making exercise.

South African musicians are making a global impact. We have to fight to be globally competitive and to take a position that supports longevity. If we celebrate mediocrity, we will only have ourselves to blame. Let’s all agree that SAMA judges have failed us both as artists and as music fans. It’s time we build our industry again.

NB: Khozi FM, please do better this year on the crossover song📍

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