Nduduzo Makhathini scoops SAMA for best jazz album

Nduduzo Makhathini, a Master’s student at Stellenbosch University (SU), has won ‘best jazz album’ at the South African Music Awards (SAMAs) that took place on Saturday (27 May) at Sun City. He received the award for his latest work, Inner Dimensions.

Makhatini, who is juggling his studies as well as his duties as Head of the University of Fort Hare’s music department, was in 2015 crowned the Standard Bank Young Artist Award winner for jazz. He received SAMA nominations in 2015 and 2016 for Mother Tongue and Listening to the Ground, respectively.



“I am very grateful and thankful for this award, I always felt with the kind of work I do it is important that it finds a way of reaching out to more people as I believe that I am doing cultural work rather than entertaining. So I feel the award in many ways will open a bigger reach for this record and most importantly the message that it carries,” Makhathini commented.

“The album is based on an idea that for us to contribute positively to the greater consciousness, one has to first work on themselves as individuals,” he said of Inner Dimensions.

The artist is working on his new record iKhambi, and says he is “very excited about this record”. He’s also completing his master’s thesis on the topic ‘A critical and musical response to the life and music of Bheki Mseleku’ through Africa Open, an interdisciplinary institute for music research and innovation located at Stellenbosch University.



“Makhathini is a musical powerhouse. His work is ground-breaking and experimental in nature. His artistry is changing jazz piano and composition in South Africa. He is also a sympathetic teacher and has a great influence on young musicians in his position as lecturer at Fort Hare,” said Stephanus Muller, Director of Africa Open.