Families of Obama, Malcolm X and Nkrumah to attend SATMA Awards

The 10th South African Traditional Music Achievement (SATMA) Awards returns to KwaZulu-Natal province this year. With uMhlathuze and uThungulu Municipalities as the official hosts, the awards will be held at the University of Zululand’s King Bhekuzulu Hall in eMpangeni on Friday 2 and Saturday 3 October.

Mama Sarah Obama. Photo: www.huffingtonpost.com
Mama Sarah Obama. Photo: www.huffingtonpost.com

The 2015 SATMA Awards is themed ‘I Am an African’. It aims to honour artists and achievers who have made an impact in the South African music industry and socio-political life in Africa and its diaspora. The organisers recently announced an impressive list of international guests for this year’s ceremony. They are Mama Sarah Obama from Kenya, grandmother to US President Barack Obama; Samia Nkrumah, daughter of Ghana’s first President Kwame Nkrumah; and Ilyasah Shabazz from the US, daughter of El-Hajj Malik el-Shabazz, better known as Malcolm X.

The 2015 SATMA Awards will honour Mama Sarah Obama for the work she does as part of her foundation in Kenya to improve the lives of her people, especially children. The daughters of the two legends, Malcolm X and Kwame Nkrumah, will also be standing on behalf of their heroic fathers, whose contribution to Africa’s struggle for freedom and independence is immense.  

The three guests of honour arrived at Richards Bay Airport on 29 September and were welcomed with a red carpet celebration on the south coast of KwaZulu Natal the following day. The provincial premier’s Office on the Status of Women will also host a Women’s Dinner in their honour. On Friday 2 October there will be an ‘indigenous’ comedy and music performance at King Bhekuzulu Hall. The main event on Saturday 3 October event at Bhukuzulu Hall will also feature an outside public viewing festival for an expected 20 000 people. Both events will showcase a plethora of music, including hip-hop and maskandi performances and unique collaborations between artists from different ethnic groups

The announcement of the visiting guests of honour was first made in Los Angeles, USA on 5 September by Ukhozi FM and Umhlobo Wenene FM during their live broadcasts. SATMA Awards founder Dr. Dumisani Goba made the announcement along with the CEO of the National Heritage Council of South Africa, Adv. Sonwabile Mancotywa, and SABC Radio Group CEO Mr. Leslie Ntloko, who were all part of SATMA Awards’ Annual Tour, known as the Siyabalanda Campaign.

“This also means a lot for our SA tourism as well as the economy of our KZN province, as thousands of people will flock to the city of uMhlathuze to witness the 10th annual celebrations,” said Dr. Goba.

The SATMA Awards will also honour other African leaders, who will be announced on the day of the ceremony The awards have previously honoured Malcolm X, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Mahatma Gandhi, Steve Biko, OR Tambo, Inkosi Albert Luthulu, Nkwame Nkrumah and Patrice Lumumba, to name a few.

The nominees were announced on Saturday 15 August at Mmabatho Convention Centre in Mafikeng. Voting for the awards is still open to anyone in South Arica who wishes to vote for their favorite traditional artists. To vote, simply SMS the word ‘SATMA’, along with the name of the artist and category to 34066. For more information email media@satmaawards.co.za or visit the SATMA website.

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