The True Stories of Bongo Riot wins him the Best Reggae Album 2020 – SAMA26
Congratulations are flooding in for The winner of the 2020 South African Music Award (SAMA) for Best Reggae Album, Bongo Riot – The Dancehall Wakanda. A well deserved win for the True Stories he shared with the Dancehall Community throughout his musical journey. A reflection of his hard work finally paying off. The South African Reggae and Dancehall community, fans, producers, promoters and artists, are all in unison in hailing the The Dancehall King.
The Award ceremony was held virtually and broadcast on TV broken into 5 episodes – with no live audience or the usual glam and fashion pomp that usually marks the event – due to lockdown restrictions in the country which have been brought about by the corona virus pandemic. He was pitted against Botanist Sniper From Afar (2nd Nomination) Fruity Star, Skeleton Blazer and Jeremiah Fyah Ises. Bongo Riot emerged as the favourite right from the beginning as he rates way above the other contenders in terms of popularity, delivery, experience and music catalogue. Bongo Riot was also nominated in the Artist of the Year and Album of The Year categories.
True Stories was released earlier this year, following on the heels of “Next Levels” his album that contended and nominated for the SAMA25 the previous year in the Best Reggae Album category that was won by Black Dillinger. Last years nomination propelled him into a ‘no nonsense, less talk and more works mode’. He first unleashed the blazing lead single from his Award Winning Album “Rest In Peace” – a song dedicated to all the loved ones who have passed and gone in this life. Be it African Leaders, Mothers, Fathers, Brothers, sisters and good friends. The reception was endearing from the massive. A few months later he released the visuals for the song.
The road to the SAMAs has not been an easy one and this year has been both gruelling and rewarding at the same time. In an article publised on the Sunday World newspaper, Bongo Riot revealed that he has taken a 9 – 5 job in the role of an engineering services and maintenance miner. He relayed that he “had to work in the deep mines in order to financially compensate for my music career and fulfill my roles and responsibilities.” He further explained that music was as still very much part of his life, although it did not make much money, but he is in a good state of mind, happiest, healthiest person that he has ever been. The winning of this award is then such a sweet victory, both in his personal life and his career.
A career which spans over a decade which has its highs and lows, but this year, the pandemic year, is Bongo Riot’s year. It has seen his most remarkable highlights in his career ever since he went solo and returned fully in the Danchahall sphere. Shortly before the announcement of the SAMA nominees, Bongo Riot battled it out in one of the highly talked about musical clash in recent Dancehall history in South Africa. He faced off with Black Dillinger, one of South Africa’s most popular Reggae Dancehall artist. Black Dillinger won the SAMA last year in a tight competition that included veterans The Meditators Band, Ras Vuyo and Bongo Riot. The Dancehall Wakanda took the title of Dancehall King as was by far the fans favourite as he lyrically massacred Black Dillinger in the pre-recorded Clash.
Once again, this is a win for the whole Reggae Danchall massive, as he did not put much emphasis on winning, but rather on the recognition that Reggae and Dancehall is finally receiving.He stated before the annoucement: “It doesn’t really matter whether I win or loose, the big win is the 3 nominees for me and Mzansi Reggae,the rest is just cherry on top.” And on top he emerged, solidifying his Clash title as the Dancehall King.
He is already back in the studio working on his new project, an EP called “One People”, featuring some of his local and international links.
Congratulation are in definitely in order for the ‘Dancehall Wakanda, the Real Bully, “because I bully everything: Microphone, Badboyz, Badmind and Lazyboy”. I Dlozi Lakhe li wa vulile a masango!
The award winning Album True Stories is available on all digital Platforms.