Afro-Pop and soul artist Blessa has his sights set on winning an award at this year's SATMA. Photo: Ndivhuwo Marandela.

Blessa nominated for two SATMA awards


Tshivenda Afro-Pop and soul artist Blessa, from Gaba village near Thohoyandou, is determined to return home triumphantly after he was nominated by the South African Traditional Music Achievement Awards (SATMA) in both the Best Upcoming Artist and Best Upcoming Group categories for his song “Ndi Murumiwa”.

The vibrant and uplifting music of Blessa, born Phathutshedzo Marandela, has gained him great popularity among his fans. When asked how he felt about his two nominations, he answered: “I feel truly blessed, to be honest. This is a feeling I cannot shake. Witnessing my efforts bear fruit is invigorating,” he said.

The inspiration behind “Ndi Murumiwa” is as profound as the melody it carries. “The song, meaning ‘I am a messenger’, signifies being God-sent to the world. It conveys a message that promotes nation building, unites young and old, and restores peace. I artfully incorporated a Venda idiom into the song that proclaims, 'you don’t kill the messenger’, or murumiwa ha vhulawi. ‘Ndi Murumiwa’ is the title track on my new album,” he said.

Blessa explained how he incorporates Tshivenda into his music, and what he believes sets his music apart from others in this genre. “I love to play around with figurative language. It allows me to connect with the old and keep the young in the know about their Venda language. That in itself separates my music from many others,” he said.

Blessa aspires to spread his messages globally and touch and transform lives far and wide. “I will keep writing songs until I make it,” he said.


Entertainment - Date: 21 October 2023

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Thembi Siaga

Thembi Siaga started as an intern during 2021. He assisted with video photography and editing. He also produced numerous small documentaries, focusing on the Vhembe region and its people. Currently he works as a freelance journalist, covering stories in the Elim area.

Thembi studied at the Tshwane University of Technology, where he completed his diploma in Journalism in 2021.