By David Driver – This year, the Arts & Culture Trust (ACT) proudly presents the Lifetime Achievement Award in Music sponsored by longstanding partner, the Southern African Music Rights Organisation NPC (SAMRO). For over 50 years SAMRO has been ensuring that musicians get rightfully compensated for the use of their creative output that is protected by the Copyright Act of South Africa. This means that music creators (composers, songwriters & publishers) will earn royalty income every time their music is performed in public. SAMRO is able to compensate its members by licensing users of music and collecting licence fees which are then distributed as royalties to SAMRO members.

Sipho Dlamini (SAMRO CEO), Madosini (Winner) and Thandi Swaartbooi (ACT Trustee)

Sipho Dlamini (SAMRO CEO), Madosini (Winner) and Thandi Swaartbooi (ACT Trustee)

As the champion for intellectual property rights in music, SAMRO has sponsored this category since 2008. This is part of the organisation’s ongoing mission to lend their support to initiatives, such as the ACT Awards, that celebrate South Africa’s finest musical talent.

“We have been at the forefront of supporting South African musicians for over 50 years and we understand the importance of supporting initiatives such as the ACT Awards, which do a wonderful job of recognising excellence in the various creative disciplines, including music. Without the luminaries that came before us, we would not have the thriving creative industries that we have today,” says SAMRO CEO Sipho Dlamini.

Previous winners who have been recognised for their outstanding contribution and dedication include: Grammy award winner and activist, the late Miriam Makeba; Joseph Shabalala who is the founder and musical director of the multi Grammy winning group, Ladysmith Black Mambazo; jazz giant Pops Mohamed; the legendary Jonas Gwangwa, sensational soprano star Mimi Coertse and traditional instrumentalist Madosini, who is considered today as a national treasure and heritage keeper.

“We are very passionate about supporting music education and development in South Africa. Being part of the ACT Awards is no exception and together with ACT, we’re excited to collaborate once again in celebration of excellence in the music creative industries.” says SAMRO’s Marketing & Communications Manager, Martha Nkhwashu.

The recipient of this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award will be chosen for their artistic excellence, their impact on the music industry as whole and their dedication to community building. Winners are selected by current and previous ACT trustees and will be announced at a glamorous ceremony at the exquisite Maslow Hotel in Johannesburg on 2 November.

Established in 1962, with the key objective to protect the intellectual property of its composer, songwriter, and publisher members, the organisation’s primary focus is to administer the various music rights of Copyright on behalf of writer and publisher members. The collecting society, as it is known, is mainly concerned with the collection of license fees for the use of its members’ musical works by various music users, the distribution of royalties to these members, and the promotion of Copyright law. For more information, please visit