Mthabisi Tshuma, Showbiz Correspondent
Amapiano songstresses Sha Sha and DJ Zandimaz who have Zimbabwean roots are giving their male counterparts in South Africa the run after topping the nominations list of the inaugural South African Amapiano Music Awards (Saapa).
Sha Sha (real name Charmaine Shamiso Mapimbiro) who made history last year after becoming the first Zimbabwean to win the BET Viewer’s Choice: Best New International Act award has four nominations while her counterpart DJ Zandimaz (real name Zandile Mazithulela) has two nominations.
For a long time artistes specialising in the Amapiano genre have been sidelined at various awards notwithstanding their enormous contribution towards the growth of the South African music. Settling this unfairness, Saapa has been introduced to appreciate their talent.
Amapiano has grown to be one of South Africa’s popular music genres. Much like gqom that came before it, Amapiano is a South African style of music born from kwaito, which itself has its roots in Afro-pop and the traditional Zulu musical heritage. Amapiano emerged from the townships of South Africa, particularly Pretoria.
Sha Sha has been nominated in the Best Amapiano Music Video for her video Woza; Best Amapiano Live Vocal Performance; Best Amapiano Vocalist and Best Female Amapiano Artist categories. In the Best Amapiano Music Video category she is battling against Kamo Mphela’s Nkulunkulu, Focalistic’s Ke Star, DJ Zandimaz’s Emathandweni, Major League DJs Abidoza and Mpho Sebina’s Dinaledi.
For the Best Amapiano Live Vocal Performance, she was selected alongside Samthing Soweto, Daliwonga, Sir Trill and Boohle. For the Best Amapiano Vocalist she is nominated alongside Boohle, Samthing Soweto, Soulful G and Lady Du. In the Best Amapiano Female Artist category, Sha Sha is up against Boohle, Dbn Gogo, Kamo Mphela and Lady Du.
DJ Zandimaz was nominated in the Best Amapiano Female DJ/Act and Best Amapiano Song of The Year for the track Emathandweni featuring Nokwazi.
Award winners will be voted for through an SMS system across all 20 categories. The artistes that will come out tops in each category will receive a R10 000 prize while the Song of the Year will scoop R50 000.
In an interview yesterday, DJ Zandimaz who hails from Esigodini said the nominations came as a surprise to her.
“The nominations came as a shock to me as I wasn’t even aware of the awards. I just saw people tagging me and then I saw an email from Saapa congratulating me.
“To be honest, I’m stunned and overwhelmed but at the same time I am saying to myself, Zandi, you can actually do it if your first song can get you this far. I’m so grateful,” said DJ Zandimaz.
Inspired by DJ Zinhle, DJ Zandimaz said all her success is indebted to hard work. She added she is working on releasing an EP next month.
“The recognition is something that I’ve always wanted and I’m glad that my hard work is finally paying off. Just being nominated is more than enough for me.
“I’m in the studio working on great collaborations with big names and up-and-coming artistes. I’ll be dropping an EP with six songs in August with the actual date to be revealed next week. The songs are set to accommodate everyone,” she said.
Other nominated artistes include, in the Friends of Amapiano category — Cassper Nyovest, Vetkuk vs Mahoota, Riky Rick, Oskido and Mi Casa. Contenders for the Most Viral Amapiano Song of the Year are John Vuligate — Mapara A Jazz, Ntosh Gazi and Colano; Catalia — Junior De Rocka, Lady Du, Mr JazziQ, Mellow and Sleazy; Khuza Gogo — DBN Gogo, Blaqnick, MasterBlaq, Mpura, Ama Avenger and MJ; Vula Mlomo — Musa Keys, Sir Trill and Nobantu Vilakaz and Dakiwe — Lady Du, DBN Gogo, Mr JazziQ, Seekay and Busta 929.
Producers, De Mthuda, Busta 929, Josiah De Disciple, Abidoza and Kabza De Small are nominated in the Best Amapiano Music Producer category. In the running for Amapiano Artist of the Year are Kamo Mphela, Major League DJz, Focalistic, DBN Gogo and Lady Du. Those nominated for Amapiano Song of the Year are: Ke Star — Focalistic ft. Vigro Deep; Umsebenzi Wethu — Busta 929 & Mpura ft. Zuma, Mr JazziQ, Lady Du & Reece Madlisa; Khuza Gogo — DBN Gogo, Blaqnick & MasterBlaq ft. Mpura, Ama Avenger & MJ; Amanikiniki — MFR Souls ft. Major League DJz, Kamo Mphela & Bontle Smith; Uthando — Soa Mattrix & Soulful G ft. Shaun 10; Emathandweni — Zandimaz ft. Nokwazi; Idlozi Lam — DJ Obza ft. Nkosazana & DJ Freetz; John Wick — De Mthuda ft. Sir Trill & Da Muziqal Chef; Vula Mlomo — Musa Keys ft. Sir Trill & Nobantu Vilakazi and Dinaledi — Major League DJz ft. Abidoza & Mpho Sebina. — @mthabisi_mthire.