UFH jazz buff wins first Sama honour

University of Fort Hare music department head Nduduzo Makhathini won the best jazz album at the South African Music Awards (Sama) over the weekend.

Makhathini won the award for his 2016 album, Inner Dimensions.

This was his first win after being nominated twice before.

His first Sama nomination was in 2015 for Mother Tongue and his second in 2016 for Listening to the Ground.

Makhathini received the award on the first night of the awards on Friday in Sun City. He was nominated alongside Darren English, Sydney Mavundla, Dave Reynolds & Paps Mohamed, and Thandiswa Mazwai.

The 2015 Standard Bank Young Artist Award winner for jazz said he did not expect to win. “I always feel awards are for record labels and for someone who owns one, I went there as a record label owner and not as an artist. It came as a surprise to me and I am grateful,” he said.

While his friends said the win was long overdue, Makhathini believes the universe always has a plan and it was his time to win.

“On this album, Inner Dimensions, I really tapped into myself. It was about getting my voice out in society. It was a personal project and for it to win an award means a lot to me.

“My voice is being accepted and it is every artist or cultural worker’s dream for their message to reach more people,” he said.

Makhathini said his prayer for the album was to let God’s voice speak through it.

“For this record to be awarded this award really means a lot to me and this will give it mileage,” he said, adding that he hoped his students and other artists in the province would be inspired by the award.

“Since I started as the head of the music department I have been putting a lot of emphasis on mentorship and finding ways of inspiring students,” he said.

Eastern Cape’s own singing sensation Amanda Black was among the top winners at the Samas. She won best newcomer, best female artist of the year and best R&B/soul/reggae album for her debut offering, Amazulu. Port Elizabeth-born singer Vusi Nova won best afro-pop album for his self-titled album. The top winner for the night was rapper Kwesta.

The Ngud hitmaker won best collaboration album, Southern African Music Rights Organisation (Samro) Highest Airplay of the Year, South African Music Performance Rights Association (Sampra) highest airplay of the Year, best rap album, best male artist of the year and best album of the year for his Dakar II album and hit single Ngud. — poliswap@dispatch.co.za

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