Sama list of entries made known for ‘sake of transparency’

Somizi Mhlongo and Thando Thabethe hosts of last year's SAMA's
Somizi Mhlongo and Thando Thabethe hosts of last year’s SAMA’s

Organisers of the South African Music Awards (Samas) have revealed the list of entries for the 23rd instalment of the biggest music awards show.

With more than 700 entries this year, almost double to last year, the Recording Industry of South Africa CEO Nhlanhla Sibisi said for the sake of transparency and openness, the Samas opted to reveal the list of entries to avoid another “Cassper Nyovest saga”.

“We strongly felt the entire process needed to be transparent for the public so they get to see for themselves who’s entered and get a sense of who might be nominated,” Sibisi said.

Following backlash from the Cassper Nyovest “snub” last year for his album Reflio when the rapper didn’t receive any nominations, accept for Best Collaboration category for Slyza Tsotsi with DJs Major League, Sibisi said the incident partly influenced the decision to release the Sama entry list to the public.

“The release is also partly to deal with that but we didn’t single out the incident. From releasing the entry list, fans of musicians are now able to see which artists are up for possible nomination across all categories and this enables us to deal with public expectations,” he said.

To note, Cassper Nyovest and AKA are notably missing again from this year’s Best Rap Album entrants.

According to Sibisi, the number of entries have almost doubled with more than 700 entries this year, compared to last year’s 470.

Entries for the Samas were received over a three-month period which began on November 1 2016 until January 31 2017.

Potential nominees have been handed over to panels of independent experts drawn from radio, TV, newspapers, blogs and the recording industry for the judging process to begin and get the final five nominees across all 15 categories.

Sibisi noted the Best Kwaito Album category only had one increase this year compared to last year which he said was “not substantial” and the Best Rap Album with 25 entries had “increased substantially”.

With 106 entries, Best Collaboration was the most contested category.

The nominations will be announced on April 20 and the awards show will be held on May 26 at Sun City.

Sibisi promised to “up the anti” on the awards show and said “there’ll be a better stage, more creativity around performances and a host who – as Trevor Noah did – can carry the event as a whole”.

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