The inaugural MTN Swaziland Music Awards (SWAMAs) are almost here and everyone is excited! Officially launched by Chairman of the MTN SWAMAs Committee Melusi Dlamini and Prime Minister of Swaziland Barnabas Sibusiso Dlamini the awards aim to celebrate and recognise musicians who have contributed to the growth of the music industry.

Moreover, the SWAMAs aim to embrace diversity in music and to express obligation and gratitude in the growth of music in the country and how its significance is readily perceived by everyone.

The 2017 SWAMA nominees were announced on 3 June 2017 at Ezulwini. The ‘Best RnB’ category is pegged to be the most competitive. Nominees include King Tiyas, Sound-Symphony, Amanda Mo, Mandisa and Adrienne Foo. Adrienne Foo recently released a hit single titled Dangerous and it has been streaming on YouTube as well as Amanda Mo who has a hit single titled I Like It. Both Symphony and Mandisa with their fulgurous voices were a part of the performers in the MTN Bushfire Festival that took place on the 26th-28th of May at Malkerns, Swaziland.

The Best Kwaito artist category has both newcomers and veterans of the industry. New kids on the block Nobuhle and Flameboy Universe will go up against veterans KRTC. Pelepele, Ghetto-Villa, Metal-Chains, Magaya, 80 Scripts and King Terry are also nominees in the Best Kwaito category. This category also has many tongues wagging, with fans keeping a tight eye on their favourites.

The category for Best Traditional Artist which comprises of five artists; Thile Makhoyane, Fanaza, Mshikishi, Lodanda and Gogo Kholiwe and Mkhulu Phayinaphu recognizes traditional artists that have released traditional songs that reflect the diverse cultures in Swaziland. These songs have been used in traditional festivals and ceremonies in the country. They are most fully apprehended and grasped by the elders of the country as they understand the depth of such music with elusive sapience.

The growth of the local music industry has seen the entrance of new music artists into the scene hence the Best Newcomer of the Year category. This category has two kwaito artists; Nobuhle and Flameboy Universe, two gospel artists; Nothando Hlophe and Praise and a soul artist; Quad elements. This diverse category embodies the talent and variety of artists in Swaziland.

Nominated for Best Producer is Mozaik-the producer, Mus ‘Dem Dem’i Masina, Mduduzi Ziyawa Matsenjwa, Silos and Sabelo ‘Subjams’ Sithungo. These producers have played a crucial part in the growth of many young and upcoming artists who have learned a thing or two from their authentic work.

The whole entertainment industry awaits with baited breath as to who will walk away with the Best Song of the Year award, which many music critics and commentators say will be a tough one. Song nominated are Nomalungelo’s Mporoma, Sands’ Tigi and Nothando Hlophe’s Khulul’ugcobo have been nominated in the category song of the year.Moreover, Dj 1D’S Gijima and Dj Njebza.

Nominated for the Best Female category is Nothando Hlophe, Flowee, Nobuhle, Phathwakahle and 13-year-old Nonhle Mtsetswa.
King Terry, Flameboy, Krtc and Mozaik have been nominated as the best hip hop artists.  While Male artist of the year category includes Flameboy, Bholoja, Sands, Wandile Hlophe and Switch.

For more information on the awards Facebook page MTN SWAMA 2017. The public can vote for their favourite artists by texting artist’s name and category to 79262.

By: Tandzile Zwane