SA Music icons

Three SA music icons are going to be honored with a Lifetime Achievement Awards at the 22nd annual South African Music Awards (SAMAs) on Saturday 4 June in Durban.

They are; Bhekumuzi Luthuli, Roger Lucey and Nana ‘Coyote’ Motijoane.

See Also: 5 Female Artists Revolutionizing The Ugandan Music Scene

The three SA music icons in question have been invaluable in SA’s music industry and we will just look at brief summaries of their careers below;

Bhekumuzi Luthuli

SA music icons

Bhekumuzi Luthuli was one of South Africa’s biggest-selling maskandi musicians. He began his music career making traditional Zulu music on a home-made guitar, joining Durban-based mbaqanga band Oshimi in the early 1980s.

Two successful albums later, he would leave them to forge an equally successful solo career. He has won numerous SAMAs alongside other awards, and managed the near impossible feat for a South African musician, of selling a million units over the course of 23 albums.

An SA music icon through and through, Luthuli told awesome stories in his songs and made a long-lasting contribution to traditional music in South Africa before passing away in 2010, aged just 48.

Roger Lucey

SA music icons

Roger Lucey has an impressive career record as a singer-songwriter, journalist, filmmaker, actor and educator. His story gets sad as his promising music career was cut short by the apartheid-era security police in the early 1980s.

His protest songs were viewed as such a threat that they effectively silenced him. He had to begin working as a doorman and barman at one of the venues where he had performed at the height of his career.

Once again he re-entered the music scene, working as a roadie and sound technician, alongside covering international war zones as a news cameraman for 10 years.

His memoirs were published by popular folk troubadour in 2013 and was named Back In From the Anger. Lucey only recently made a music comeback with his first studio album in 30 year titled, Now is the Time.

The only one of these SA music icons that is still alive, he still performs, and currently divides his time between his teaching work in the USA and his hometown of Cape Town.


SA music icons

Coyote was actually born Tsietsi Daniel Motijoane and earned his nickname because of his signature throaty howls. In fact some fans went on to call him ‘The Wild Dog’.

He entered the Black Five, an influential soul outfit at the time before going into exile in Lesotho in 1980. Whilst in exile he joined the Sankomota group which was known as Uhuru at the time.

His big break came when the group Ozila asked him to sing on their hit ‘I’m Suffering’, which was followed by an equally successful duet with Steve Kekana on ‘Take Your Love’.

He would go up from then on, featuring in numerous chart toppers and becoming a familiar face in the Stimela line-up, where he sang on a number of the band’s albums, including as lead singer and simultaneously cultivating a successful solo career.

This SA music icon also passed away in 2010 but only after making a strong imprint on the South African music scene with his distinctive growling vocals.

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The lifetime achievement awards for these SA music icons will be presented alongside other awards for various categories at the Durban International Convention Centre on Saturday 4 June to mark the 22nd annual SAMAs. The ceremony will be broadcast live on SABC1 from 8pm.