By Lerato Matheka
MASERU — Two local famo artists had to be content with the wooden spoon after their South African rival overwhelmed them at the annual South African Traditional Music Awards ceremony in Durban on Saturday.
Koete and Morusu, who both work at mines in South Africa, were in the running for the best Sesotho album award which came with a trophy and M20 000.
But South African muso Lesome was announced the winner of the category, decided by the public through SMS votes.
Morusu, whose real name is Khethang Hlalele, had won the same category last year with his Morusu No. 2 album.
The Quthing muso was vying for the accolade this year with the same album.
Koete, born Mokoenihi Makoele, was seen as a stronger contender in the category with his Tharisa ea Matsoapo No.4 album which won him the best Sesotho album accolade at this year’s South African Music Awards.
Both Koete and Morusu are under the KOL Music Productions stable.
“We could not secure any win this time round,” KOL Productions managing director Molefi Mabote told the Weekender.
“The competition was tight as people had to vote for the award winner and this process disadvantaged our artists because most of our support base is in Lesotho.”
Mabote said their supporters in Lesotho could not get through to the South African SMS line.
“Our competitor, who is from South Africa, was slightly advantaged as his supporters were in South Africa,” he said.
Mabote said even though Koete and Morusu had not won, being nominated was quite an achievement for their stable.
“Even though we didn’t win, we actually feel highly honoured that we were nominated for this prestigious ceremony,” he said.
“Being nominated, to us, was a victory in itself. We all accepted that we can’t win them all — you win some, you lose some.”
Meanwhile, Mabote said KOL Music Productions was already working hard to dominate the famo sector next year.
He said Morusu and Tsepo Maliela were working on a new album which he believed would be nominated for awards.
One of the tracks on the album will feature Stlofa.
“This album is aimed at taking famo to another level and it is now blended with mokorotlo,” Mabote said.
“We are also working hard to increase our support base in South Africa so as to level the playing field with our competitors in South Africa.”