The South African Music Awards (SAMAs) are South Africa's premier annual music awards, recognising musical excellence across all genres, from traditional to Afrikaans to Rock and Pop as well as paying tribute to the various facets of musical production including production, engineering and video production.
Winning a SAMA is the highest award a musician or producer can win in South African music. An award statuette is called a SAMA.
The SAMAs are run by the Recording Industry of South Africa (RiSA).
The event was instituted in 1995 and has been held annually ever since. The awards for a year occur early in that year, and are judged on performances made in the previous year.
The first awards ceremony was devised after a string of failed sponsored awards ceremonies ending in 1992, with no recognition for the music industry for three years. The nominees were held on 29 June, 1995 with the first award ceremony following on 29 July, 1995. Both events took place in Midrand at The Theatre On The Track.
The first awards to be televised were the fourth, in 1998 - a two-hour special which aired three days after the actual award ceremony. The first live broadcast was in 2002, at the eighth SAMA awards.
The show is typically held each year at the Superbowl in Sun City and is broadcast on SABC1, with performances given by some of the nominees and other guests. The venue changed to Monte Casino for the 2011 awards and returned to Sun City in 2012.