Your song of the year is...
A jewel was added to the crown of South Africa’s newest king of Afro-pop on Thursday night. Nathi Mankayi – once a prisoner, now a five-time Metro Award nominee – lifted the first award of his career for his debut hit, Nomvula.
He won SABC radio’s Summer Song of 2015 award, which was voted for by listeners.
The shy star hardly knew where to look when his name was called. He thanked everyone humbly in isiXhosa, then hurried to hide at the back of the stage to enjoy his moment.
At first, I thought that World of Yamaha in the heart of Sandton was a curious choice of venue, but it turned out to be the perfect size for the vibe of the celebration – small enough to feel intimate, but big enough for the truly inspiring performances of the night.
Mankayi’s remixed version of Nomvula features a xylophone electrified by celebrity guests, including actress Sophie Ndaba, model and entertainer Refilwe Vanillablaq Modiselle, Metro FM DJ Siphokazi January and music stars Robbie Malinga, Heavy K, Emtee and L-Tido.
New kid on the block Cici rocked it out with her hit Summer Yama Summer, with Arthur Mafokate and Ishmael joining her on stage. Who knew Pearl Modiadie could sing? Wait, um ... she can’t. The popular TV and radio host was the emcee for the evening and looked ravishing in a figure-hugging navy blue dress. She tried a few bars of a song and also dropped a nod to her fiancée when pretending to mispronounce Nomvula – instead calling the song Nonkululeko, the name of the new love of her life. For me, though, the highlight of the night was the announcement of the listener award. Ikwekwezi FM listener Jabulani Thomas Mabena from Siyabuswa in Mpumalanga won a Kia Picanto. No one was aware that he had recently been blinded, but it moved us all to tears.
ACTING QUEEN Sophie Ndaba ruled the venue BLING SWAGGER star Emtee
HE AIN’T HEAVY Malinga
Heavy K and Robbie
TOO COOL FOR SCHOOL L-Tido, hiphop recording artist from Alexandra