MASERU — Local famo artistes, Phoka Moloi and Khaebana Tieli, lifted the Best Sotho Album and Best Music Video Awards at the South African Traditional Music Awards (SATMAs) last weekend.
The seventh SATMAs were held in East London, South Africa.
Moloi, affectionately known as Phoka Special, saw off competition from Khaebana Tieli and Ramelato Ditshito in the Best Sesotho Album category.
Kheola beat South Africa’s best performing artiste Zahara and BOP in the Best Music video category.
Tieli, popularly known as Kheola, told XpressPeople that he was happy with his achievement.
“I really didn’t see this coming. Zahara was my biggest contender and defeating her means a lot to me and my career,” Kheola said.
He said he was very excited as he has always wanted to leave a mark in his career.
“I think this is the start of bigger and greater successes in my career. I had long lost hope and was hoping to win the Best Sesotho Album but God is just great,” he said.
Kheola thanked his fans for voting for him.
“I did convert their interest to vote for me in the best music video and I am happy they elevated my music with an award. I am also overjoyed that Phoka also won an award.
“We are hoping to unveil the awards to Basotho at a ceremony soon because we won the awards through their support.”
Moloi said the award was “the beginning of great things”.
“I thank all Basotho for the support they have shown in my life and career.
“This victory is not mine alone but is for my family and fans,” Phoka said.
Phoka advised other famo artistes to always produce music that promotes peace.
“I have always asked God to give me a sign that my career will blossom and I am convinced this is the beginning of greater things.
He said he is finalising the release of two albums, Likopane Liboko No.7 and Leru le letšo No.5.
“I have seen that Basotho love artistes who make music that is filled with happiness and the two albums are going to elevate the state of famo music.
“I have never stopped praying throughout the competition and while making my music I always put God first. That is why I am always relevant,” Phoka said.
Both artistes said they are working on a celebration to unveil their awards to King Letsie III and Basotho at large.
Phoka won with his latest album Hlabeng tsa Butha-Buthe where he features the 2009 SATMA award winner Morusu and Kheole.
The SATMA Awards began in 2005 to promote, preserve, uplift, develop, stage multicultural exchanges, and to honour and award traditional musicians across racial and ethnic backgrounds.