Johannesburg - We are just shy of six months into 2017, and already the organisers of the SA Music Awards (Samas) have scooped the Worst Party Ever award.
Usually the Sama nominees’ announcement serves as a fitting prelude to one of the country’s most prestigious and glitzy events. Not this time.
The function was dispirited, to the point of sucking the excitement out of invited guests.
It took place on Thursday evening at Destiny Exclusive Hotel’s conference centre in Kempton Park in Gauteng.
Problems surfaced from the get-go. There were not enough seats for invited guests. Why did the organisers not count the number of RSVPs and leave a few extra seats just in case?
As a result, some attendees had to stand during the three-hour formal procedure.
And then the occasion was sorely lacking in A-list celebrities. Perhaps they failed to show up because the venue was at least 40km from Johannesburg.
Even the men of the night, rappers Nasty C – who notched up six nominations – and Kwesta, close behind with five nods, did not pitch.
Spotted in the crowd were Candy “Tsa Mandebele” Mokwena, Idols 2013 winner Musa Sukwene and legendary singer/songwriter Robbie Malinga .
We also bumped into sassy TV presenter Nomuzi Mabena, who looked glamorous in her black sequinned dress.
Despite the hiccups, chatty host Anele Mdoda kept the audience laughing with her jokes, while fabulous performances from Kabomo, Tresor, Emtee and Mobi Dixon, featuring Berita, provided much-needed respite.
The house seemed to catch fire when deejay duo Durban’s Finest took to the stage alongside DJ Tira.
Then it was time to eat. Guests queued at food stations which offered a choice of fish, chicken, lamb stew, butternut and rice. The lines were long and the food could have been more inspiring, given the occasion.
Hopefully, the main event, which happens to be the most coveted music awards show in South Africa, will offer up the requisite glitz and glam. The 23rd Samas take place 26 and 27 May at the Sun City Superbowl.