Even though MBUZENI Mkhize has been in the music industry for over 10 years, he has never earned a local award or a nomination.

That’s why the talented musician hoped he would win his first award after being nominated for the best maskandi album award with his seventh album, Wavuma, for this year’s SA Music Awards.

The award ceremony takes place on Saturday at Sun City in North West.

Mbuzeni (31), who also plays the guitar, told SunBuzz he hasn’t received a single local award after being on the music scene for 12 years.

But in 2013, he received an honorary award in the Netherlands after performing there.

“Being nominated means people recognise my craft.

“The win will be a bonus since the nomination came as a surprise.

“I hope I will come back with it. What gets me excited is it will be my first award since joining the music industry in 2006.”

Mbuzeni said he has been nominated along with maskandi heavyweights like Shwi Nomtekhala of Ngafa fame, Khuzani Mpungose, Qhoshangokwenzakwakhe and Abafana BakaMgqumeni but he isn’t worried.

“Being nominated with those legends means I am also seen as big,” said Mbuzeni.

When he first went into the industry in 2006, he released his debut album, Ephehlweni.

Promoting the album saw him travelling around the world.

He said being respected in Mzansi rather than overseas, where he performs more often, would be great.

“Last month, I performed in Turkey during their freedom celebrations and returned to Mzansi two weeks ago.

“In August, I’m going to perform in Europe. I would be happier to go there with my SAMA award.

“But if I don’t win, I will still celebrate my nomination as a win.”

Mbuzeni, who is part of the South Coast maskandi group Amabhenanyawo, said his new album he released in December is doing well.

“It will reach gold status soon because it’s sold 13 000 copies already.”