Did you miss the South African Music Awards last night? You really did miss out. There were highs and lows, and lots of WTF moments, but for the most part, they were great. I streamed the whole show live on my Mac, and let me tell you, it was flawless. One or two slight interuptions were to be expected, but other than that, it was as good as watching on TV. So what else went down? Well besides Nathi and Emtee cleaning up at the awards, here’s what else you missed:
Arthur Mofokate and his fellow presenters (Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry and a rep from Ukhozi FM). Each of the three clearly wanted their time in the spotlight. Arthur felt the need to make some, quite frankly, really silly statements about his bosses and who he worked for. He clearly knows where his bread is buttered, but after making these statement twice, he backtracked and decided to but a disclaimer out there, just in case anyone misinterpreted him. There’s controversial and then there are time when you should just not say anything. Arthur falls into the latter.
Black Coffee won multiple awards, and while he is busy performing on the world stage, his mum came up to accept on his behalf. At one point in the night, someone else joined mom Coffee on stage, claiming to be “Black Tea”. A lot of us were like, huh? What? Did he just, what? Hmmmm.
The “Mahatma Gandhi of broadcasting”, the “Oliver Tambo of entertainment” as Tbo Touch refers to him as, Hlaudi Motsoeneng takes the most random award of the night. He likes to talk and he clearly likes to deviate from his intended speech too. He veered off in a direction that left most viewers and social media fans scratching their heads. He kept referring and appealing to the Indian community to make more music. Some thought it was because of the big Indian community in Durban, while others just had no clue. I believe it was on the back of his decision to introduce the 90% local music quota on all SABC radio stations. A station like Lotus FM targets an Indian base, but there aren’t as many Indian singer/ songwriters in SA who are producing music, and as a result they’re struggling to meet the quota that aligns with their target market. I think that’s what he was getting at, but I could be wrong. Maybe I too missed the boat, but he should clarify what he meant.
The guys from Desmond and the Tutus had a lot of people asking the question if they were enibriated because of their acceptance speech. I think they’re just quirky and that coupled with nerves and shock of winning, their moment on stage may have come across pretty differently to what a ‘normal’ speech at an awards ceremony is like.
Somizi and Thando Thabethe did a fantastic job. When they switched to vernac, I got a little lost, but I could pick up the gist of what they were saying. Somizi is a laugh a minute and Thando is everything. She’s smart, talented. She looked beautiful and I honestly think her future in this business is bright. Watch out for her! I think the duo worked really well too. We needed a good presenting duo, it has been lacking for some time now. So to the SAMA organisers, you did good there 🙂 I think the green room mechanics need to be revisited though. Khanyi is great on camera, as is Phat Joe, but I didn’t feel the two of them together. The green room seemed empty a lot of the time too. So it served no purpose in my opinion.
The production itself was fantastic. The stage, the effects, the camera work… It all just worked so well. Performances by Nathi and Karlien van Jaarsveld were great, but a few of the other collaborations left a lot to be desired. Some of the nominees (winners) need to work on their vocals when it comes to live performances. Maybe they didn’t rehearse enough? Who performed the best for you?
The one thing I felt that was missing was a bit of ‘gees’. The Grammys are known as music’s big night in the US. The SAMAs should be be the same for us. I don’t feel like there was nearly enough of that though. Something was missing and I’m still trying to figure out what it is, but if you agree with me, maybe you’ll know what that missing ingredient was?
Next year I really hope I can return to reporting from the actual venue. Hopefully budgets will extend to a broader base of media being offered accommodation and transport, as opposed to a very long bus trip there and back.