White Star Newcomer of the year debuts at #SAMA27

May 27, 2021

Everyone’s favourite maize meal brand, White Star, has announced its newest sponsorship of the #SAMA27. Called the White Star Newcomer of the Year Award, it recognises the freshest talent to emerge out of Mzansi in the past year. This sponsorship is an extension of the brand’s hugely successful Shay’na ngeWhite Star (Shine with White Star) initiative. It was launched in September 2020 to enable local music talent, particularly emerging artists to continue to shine their light into the lockdown gloom and beyond. 

The pilot season of Shay’na ngeWhite Star added its voice behind the clarion call to air more local music on the airwaves. At the same time, it provided opportunities for artists to perform on Metro FM. The response from Mzansi has been great. A testament showed by the over 39 million impressions across social media platforms, with a reach of more than 4.6 million adults on radio alone in its first year. 

The 2021 season of the #ShaynangeWhiteStar campaign began in Apri.It is once again in a collaboration with the broader music industry and Metro FM. As it did last year, the campaign is scheduled to run for 13 weeks on Metro FM. White Star supporting playlists of local music and live on-air performances. At each weekly recording of the show, lucky fans will have a chance to be part of the exclusive in-studio audience and to meet with their favourite artists (all COVID-19 protocols will be observed). 

White Star Best Newcomer of the Year Award

The White Star Best Newcomer of the Year Award is a step up to recognise and celebrate hot new music. The artists and groups that have been nominated for the award are: 

  • Xolly Mncwango for Jesus is Enough 
  • Reign Africa for On the Frontline
  • BandaBanda & The Crocodiles for Africado
  • Azana for Ingoma
  • Bucy Radebe for Spiritual Encounter

All are gathering both accolades and legions of loyal fans. 

White Star
Azana. Image supplied

Hailing from Richards Bay in KwaZulu Natal, Xolly Mncwango epitomises everything good about the contemporary Gospel scenes. She captures hearts and minds with her worshipful recordings and passionate live performances. Songs like Ungukuphila and Healing Power are shining examples of her vocal power and personal presence. Another Gospel artist on the ticket is Bucy Radebe, from whom many draw joy and inspiration. Her 2020 studio album, Spiritual Encounter, comprising 17 songs such as: 

  • Thuma Mina 
  • Worrier’s Medley

These attracted attention far and wide.   

On a different note, Reign Africa, was a breakout hit at the Reggae Rocking My Roots Lockdown Online Festival in August last year. Hosted by DJ Mystikal Ebony, the festival was held to celebrate International Reggae Day 2020 and Reign certainly made her mark. 

In a very different territory, BandaBanda & The Crocodiles fuse colourful overtones of world music, popular music, jazz and traditional folk. They do this to navigate the complex issue of identity through storytelling and transcendent sound. They’ll be setting the stage alight at the Market Theatre throughout Africa Month. 

Finally, Azana is one of the artists who has been featured in this year’s Shay’na ngeWhite Star campaign. The 19-year-old says she was “weird and shy” when she was growing up. but there can be no doubt that she’s on the road to stardom as she enchants audiences with her resonant voice.  

“It gives me tremendous pleasure to congratulate all of the nominees in this and other categories. Especially those who’ve featured on Shay’na ngeWhite Star over the past two years. We can’t wait to hand over the inaugural award,” added Makhothi.

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