SAMA 23 honours international achiever

After hitting all the right notes and scaling the heights of opera, SAMA 23 will honour soprano Pretty Yende with the International Achiever Award. The accolade is to recognise her strides on the global scale.

Yende from Piet Retief in Mpumalanga is arguably South Africa’s foremost voice in opera. She graduated from South African College of Music in Cape Town and took part in the prestigious young artist’s programme at La Scala in Italy. What has followed is a remarkable career that saw her grace every stage imaginable throughout Europe and the Americas, and snapping some coveted awards along the way. Yende has also shared the stage with opera icons like Andrea Bocelli and most sought after conductors. Her vocal abilities and repertoire put her in a league of opera greats. She released A Journey, her debut album last year.

She recently had a great marathon run in the US where she had a season at the Metropolitan Opera House in Romeo et Juliette. Yende also made an appearance on the popular The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and the daytime Wendy Williams show. Yende has rubbed shoulders with the likes of Oprah Winfrey and Whoopi Goldberg and was the covergirl of the influential Opera magazine and featured in Vogue magazine.

Nhlanhla Sibisi, CEO of RiSA welcomed the news: ‘For a long time we have seen the rise of Pretty Yende on international stages. She represent the voice of an ambitious go-getting generation. We salute her achievements and she is a worthy winner this year. Bravo.’

  • See Pretty Yende’s profile below

The main SAMA 23 event on 27 May 2017 will be broadcast live on SABC1 at 8pm.


The annual South African Music Awards (SAMA) are organised by the Recording Industry of South Africa (RiSA).

Sun City in the Province of Bokone Bophirima is the host of the 23rd edition of the SAMA, SABC is the official broadcast partner.

The SAMA 23 awards show will be streamed live on all SAMA Digital Platforms and via the official SAMA App (available on iOS and Android).

SAMA 23 is brought to you in partnership with the Bokone Bophirima Department of Culture, Arts and Traditional Affairs, Department Of Arts and Culture, SAMPRA, CAPASSO and SAMRO.

Social media handles

Twitter: @TheSAMAs

Instagram: @thesamas_

YouTube: samusicawards

Facebook: South African Music Awards

Hashtag: #SAMA23



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