Swazi social climbers came out in numbers to support their favourite artists at the inaugural MTN Swaziland Music Awards. The award ceremony was held on the 5th of August, 2017 at the Convention Centre in Zulwini. The show was co-hosted by the crowd’s favourite Lindokuhle Mthupha and comedian Mdura.

The hosts

The hosts

For the first time ever, Swaziland hosted music awards to celebrate the on-going innovation in the industry and motivate all artists to work diligently in producing good music and keeping the music alive in the entertainment industry whilst promoting the spirit of unity between artists and supporters. The MTN SWAMAs Chairperson Melusi Dlamini presented the first award and with gratitude as he thanked Swazis for participating in the voting phase. Dlamini announced the best music video of the year category which featured nominees Mozaik ft Kyle Deutch, Sands, Tiyas, Adrienne Foo, LC Bizzy and Trippy King. Adrienne Foo took it home as her song titled Dangerous won the award best music video of the year.

As anticipated by his supporters, Sands was the biggest winner of the night. He took home four awards and out of them all, the first one he received was the award for best soul artist of the year. His contenders were Bholoja, Velemseni, Loma Soul and Quad element. He also won the award male artist of the year, as his music has been influential in the country. His smash hit Tigi, as expected, earned the title song of the year award. Tigi is a fan favourite across South Africa and Botswana as well. Sands’ contenders for the song of the year category were Nomalungelo’s Mporoma, Dj Njebza, Nothando Hlophe’s khulul’ ugcobo and DJ 1D’s song titled Gijima. He also scooped artist of the year award, nominated alongside Illa Penboy, Nduduzo Matse, Nothando Hlophe and Mduduzi nezinceku Zamagawugawu.

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Tigi hitmaker, Sands

Nominated for the best gospel artist category was Frans Dlamini, Phathwakahle, Skeel, Mduduzi nezinceku Zamagawugawu with Nothando Hlophe taking it home! She won two awards; best gospel artist and best female artist of the year. Contending with Nothando Hlophe for the best female artist of the year category was Floewe, Phathwakahle,Nobuhle and Nonhle Mtsetfwa.

The night would not be complete without performances from local artists. Attendants were treated to a host of musical showcases from both nominees and non-nominees across board. Phathwakahle had everyone spiritually uplifted with her beautiful music, along with Skeel and Nonhle Mtsetfwa. The Nobuhle also showcased her talent as she performed her song Ndofaya, with such passion and energy in her performance.

Magaya who took home the best Kwaitio artist of the year award also rendered an amazing performance. His winning speech enlivened many as he said people made scornful jokes about him when he decided to do what he loved most; music! The excitement that all artists yielded in their winning speeches was invigorating. Nomalungelo who won the best afro-pop award couldn’t hide her excitement as she thanked Swazis for making it happen and her supportive circle of influence at large.

The legendary Mshikishi giving a stellar performance

The legendary Mshikishi giving a stellar performance

Mshikishi was the main man of the event; he was awarded the best traditional artist of the year and the lifetime achievement award. In his acceptance speech, he said these awards were his birthday gifts. He was greatful for the recognition as it was his first since he started music in 1974. The legend called on new and upcoming artists to learn from the veterans’ mistakes as well as their achievements in order to prosper in the industry. At his age, he still gave a livened up performance that assured everyone that he will always be genuinely passionate with music.

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Nomalungelo Dladla

The music industry in Swaziland ameliorates by leaps and bounds. Hosting music awards for the first time raised awareness, recognised efforts and honoured well-deserving artists for their contribution to the entertainment industry #loyal to local. The MTN SWAMAs were a success as 19 artists were awarded for their industriousness in the music industry.

By: Tandzile Zwane 

Image Cre: Ekhaya Kusekhaya