Traditional music takes centre stage on night 1 of the Samas - Here are all the winners

Nandi Madida
Nandi Madida
Photo: Noam Galai/Getty Images
  • The first episode of the 26th Sama awards took place on Monday at 21:30 with the sub-theme #ForThaRoots.
  • The night honoured musicians who fall into the traditional music domain.
  • Ndabo Zulu & Umgidi Ensemble walked away with two awards, while gospel singer, Dumi Mkokstad, took home his first Sama after 20 years in the industry.


The 2020 Sama awards kicked off on Monday evening, bringing viewers the first of a five-episode special. 

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, organisers made the decision to move online, splitting the show into 30-minute segments scheduled to air between 3 and 7 August on My Muze by Vodacom and Mzansi Magic (DStv 161) at 21:30.

The theme for this year's show is #ForThaKultcha, and each episode has a sub-theme.

Hosted by Dineo Langa and Donovan Goliath, episode one, dubbed #ForThaRoots and dedicated to categories in the traditional music domain, opened with a spectacular performance of Toto's Africa by the Ndlovu Youth Choir.

Singer, Amanda Black, also showed off her vocal prowess with a beautiful rendition of Ndizele Wena, accompanied by a pianist and picturesque backdrop.

Several local stars, including Thuso Motaung and Arno Carstens tuned in from their homes to introduce nominees, while comedian Skhumba and radio presenter DJ Ankletap joined forces as commentators for the show.

Ndabo Zulu & Umgidi Ensemble came out tops for the night, walking away with two awards - Newcomer of the Year and Best Jazz Album. While Gospel singer Dumi Mkokstad took home his first ever Sama award after 20 years in the industry. 

"This has been both a challenging and exciting time for SAMA26. On the one hand, we had to get the show on the road after the disruption of Covid-19. On the other hand, the new conditions of lockdown and social distancing provided an opportunity for our creatives to think outside the box and try new things," RiSA CEO, Nhlanhla Sibisi said in a statement. 

He added: "I'm proud of what we saw this evening and applaud the production team and all hands that contributed to the success. I also wish to extend my congratulations to all the winners from tonight who did it for #ForThaRoots. I look forward to the next four nights as we honour the best our country has to offer [sic]."

Here are all the winners for the night: 

Best Maskandi Album:

Upopayi by Thokozani Langa

Best Traditional Music Album:

Ungabanaki by Qadasi & Maqhinga

Best Collaboration:

Say U Will by K.O featuring Nandi Madida

Best Traditional Faith Music Album:

Calvary by Dumi Mkokstad

Newcomer of the Year:

Ndabo Zulu & Umgidi Ensemble for Queen Nandi: The African Symphony

Best African Indigenous Faith Album:

Lona Ba Ratang Ho Phela by Amadodana Ase Wesile

Best Jazz Album:

Queen Nandi: The African Symphony by Ndabo Zulu & Umgidi Ensemble

Bestse Kontemporêre Musiek Album:

Sterker by Riana Nel

Rest of Africa Award:

A Good Time by Davido (Nigeria)

The Samas will resume with its second episode on Tuesday. The sub-theme for the night will be #ForThaSoul, dedicated to categories in the soul and R&B domain.

Compiled by Nikita Coetzee