PORT Elizabeth-born sisters Lulu and Zonke Dikana are among six Eastern Cape singers nominated for MTN South African Music Awards (Samas).
Five are women, with only one male, Loyiso Bala, originally of Uitenhage, in the running for the best contemporary faith music album award.
The nominees were announced in Johannesburg yesterday.
Lulu is nominated in two categories – best R&B/soul/reggae album and female artist of the year for her album, This is the Life.
Zonke is nominated in the MTN Sama record of the year category, voted for by fans.
Also on the list is Zahara, nominated in the best live DVD, best collaboration and MTN Sama record of the year.
Camagwini is nominated in the best African adult album for Re-Birth, while Nomfusi’s second album Take Me Home has also been nominated in the best African adult album category.
Zahara, who scooped eight awards last year, said of her nominations: “I feel so blessed and it will not be bad to win in all the categories just like I did last year.”
She added that she was working on new material that would be ready by August. Lulu said she was over the moon.
“The Samas are the biggest in the country. I am also happy for my sister Zonke. I believe that God has truly blessed us with such great talent.”
Lulu said the This is the Life album was her best work to date.
“I recorded it in Cape Town and it was marketed overseas. It has elements of jazz, soulful and reggae sounds on it.
“The lyrics are very motivational and I talk a lot about love,” she said.
Serame Taukobong, chief marketing officer at MTN SA said the awards were the highlight on the South African music industry calendar.
“After 10 years of this sponsorship, we remain committed to supporting the development and growth of our music industry, which continues to flourish both locally and on the international arena,” he said.
The public can vote for their favourites in the MTN Sama record of the year category, by SMS. Voting opened at 1pm yesterday and will close at 8pm on May 10.
After an initial round of voting for 20 nominees, voting will reopen for the five finalists on May 10 at 8am and the winner will be announced during a live broadcast on SABC 1 on May 11.
The ceremony will be held at Sun City’s Superbowl.