Phumi Maduna Wins Best Reggae Artist at SATMA Awards 2023
The winners for the 18th South African Traditional Music Achievement (SATMA) Awards were announced. at the DCC Jesus Dome in Durban on December 15 2023. This year, the awards featured 27 categories and Phumi Maduna walked away as the Best Reggae Artist of the Year.
Sista Phumi Maduna’s first Reggae Album titled Substitute dropped in 1993, earned her the title of being the first female singer in South Africa to release a Reggae Album. She also featured as the only female in the timeless Reggae Strong For Peace Compilation that was produced by Richard Siluma and Lucky Dube in that same year.
But even before the release of this classic Reggae album, Phumelele Yvonne Maduna, known as Sister Phumi, had already tasted success and fame in the volatile South African music industry. Togehter with the late Madoda Malotana they formed a Duo called ‘Cheek to Cheek’. In 1984 Cheek to Cheek released their debut album So good So Nice under CCP Records, which went on to sell thousands of copies making them the best selling group at the time. Her music career spans over 2 decades and her musical gift has afforded her the privilege of touring internationally (Japan, USA, The Fiji Islands, Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Namibia and Uganda) as well as working with the South African music industry’s most seasoned musicians (Yvonne Chaka Chaka, Blondie Makhene, Ali Katt, Steve Kekana, Senyaka, Sipho ‘Hot Sticks’ Mabuse, Mercy Pakela, Keith Sweat, The Commodores and Kool & the Gang.) including backing vocals for Margaret Singana, Lucky Dube Systems Enemy and Jose Carlos.
He other milestone was the release of Africa Unite – Tribute to Lucky Dube an album dedicated to her mentor Lucky Dube. That was followed by Victory, a Reggae gospel album. She and Thutukani Cele recorded a song ‘Free West Papua’ dedicated to the people of West Papua who are fighting for their land and sovereignty and who are staunch supporters of Lucky Dube. She now releases music under her label Maduna Productions and is involved in The Woman in Reggae Initiative.