Every year, the very best in South African music is honoured at the South African Music Awards – South African music’s biggest night. However, while the award ceremony celebrates music released in the past year, the award show also makes a point to honour artists who have made a significant contribution to the South African music space and in 2019, the late HHP, kwaito legends TKZee and the legendary Mango Groove will be honoured with Lifetime Achievement Awards.

HHP, who passed away last year, will be remembered for the critical role he played in making Motswako a force to be reckoned with. His career is punctuated with a series of firsts, including being one of the first artists to make rapping over a kwaito beat popular as well as being the first hip hop artist to have multiple successful sync deals.

TKZee were the poster boys of cool in the 1990s as they pioneered a sound so unique in the process rewriting South Africa’s music history books by becoming the biggest selling kwaito group. The three piece boy band of Kabelo Mabalane, Zwai Bala and Tokollo Tshabalala gave local audiences classics such as Palalafala and Shibobo. In 1999 TKZee experienced their biggest night at the SAMAs when they scooped five awards including Best Duo/Group and Best Kwaito Album, a record they held on to for years.

Finally, Mango Groove was started in 1984 with their unique brand of music fusing marabi and kwela. Their hits “Special Star”, “Another Country” and “Moments Away” to name a few became anthems that sealed their position as the emblematic rainbow nation for being multi ethnic at a time of apartheid. The talented front woman Claire Johnston backed by an equally gifted band that included the late trumpet great Banza Kgasoane became national treasures and faces of the national reconciliation and social cohesion project.

“We are proud that at this milestone, 25th anniversary of the SAMA we will be honouring these giants of music who played such a big role in South African music,” Nhlanhla Sibisi, CEO of RiSA says. “Mango Groove is an institution that tells our history as a people and the spirit of tenacity and rising above the odds when it was not so fashionable for blacks and whites to work together. TKZee heralded the early days of freedom with a sound so fresh and invigorating that they became legends in a short space of time. HHP entrenched and adapted the culture of hip hop to a South African audience as he shunned twanging and instead made Setswana fashionable. It’s also extra special that his first posthumous award comes from the industry he gave so much of himself to. We applaud our SAMA25 achievers and we recognise their sterling achievements. Bravo.”

The SAMA25 takes place on May 31 and June 1 in Sun City, North West province. It will be broadcast live on June 1 on SABC1 at 8pm. Tickets to the show are available at Ticket Pro for R415.