Eastern Cape based Maskandi group, Abafana bakaMgqumeni, scooped the best traditional artist of the year at the 14th South African Traditional Music Awards (SATMAs) at the Mmabatho Convention Centre in Mahikeng in North West. The SATMAs saw over 100 nominees battle it out in 31 categories, with the who’s who in traditional music converging to celebrate the cream of the crop of the industry.

SABC journalist, Zimkhita Manqinana, scooped the award for the best cultural electronic media journalist. Manqinana says that she is excited as this is her third SATMA.

Winner of best female artist, Mma Ausi Lekoma, says she is proud of her crew.

“I am very proud as Mma Ausi and my crew. We are very much happy. I am going to take Setswana forward; no way am I turning back. I am going to always speak in Setswana.”

Winners of the best traditional artist of the year award, Abafana bakaMgqumeni, say that they love traditional music.

“We won the best traditional artist of the year. It’s the biggest award. We are very happy because of the love of traditional music.”

Since the inception of the SATMAs in 2006, the awards have grown significantly over the years. North West MEC for Arts and Culture, Virginia Tlhapi, says that they invested a lot of money in the event.

“There is a lot of money that we have invested in this event and, as you can see now, our guesthouses are full; there is no accommodation as we speak and I am very sure that petrol stations are full. So as a department, we are very happy that people have benefited a lot from these SATMAs.”

SATMAs CEO Jayson Faber says the growth of the categories is an indication that the awards have grown.

“The fact that the categories have grown is just an indication of how the awards have grown, which is really amazing for us. For the last couple years, traditional music is obviously popular, but we have seen a big uptake in the last couple of years in particular and that’s why we also started expanding on the categories; which really is a good reflection of where our local music is and where our local talent is.”

The 14th SATMAs are the final installment for the North West before the show moves on to Mpumalanga.

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