The Arts & Culture Trust (ACT) invites SAMRO members to attend an afternoon masterclass with the legendary singer/ songwriter Dorothy Masuku.

Tapping into a wealth of knowledge, Masuku will speak to South African musicians about her experiences, sharing wisdom gained from an extraordinary life in South African music. Her songs have been performed across South Africa, forming a staple part of the repertoire of her contemporaries Hugh Masekela and Miriam Makeba. Now a new generation embrace and sing her music.

Masuku, or Mum D as she is affectionately known, was presented with an ACT Lifetime Achievement Award by Nothando Migogo, CEO of SAMRO, at an exclusive event held at the Maslow hotel in November last year. ‘We are very humbled to be able to honour the joy that Dorothy Masuku has brought to us all,’ said ACT Chair David Dennis. Invited guests were treated to an impromptu performance by Masuku when she broke into song mid interview and later joined Lira on stage.


Dorothy Masuku was already a top recording star by the tender age of 16, and left Zimbabwe to make it big in Johannesburg. During this period she wrote and performed the classic South African song Hamba Nontsokolo. From there, Masuku’s career continued to blossom as she was given many principal roles and solo performances accompanied by close-harmony groups and big bands. Her songs spoke to a moment of turbulence and hardship that was township life in apartheid South Africa in the 1950s and resonated. Due to this, she later fled South Africa and continued her political work through her music in places like Malawi, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Zambia and even London.  After the release of Nelson Mandela, Masuku returned to Johannesburg and took up her professional singing career once again.


The ACT Awards are held annually to acknowledge the contributions of the many artists who have dedicated their lives to South African Arts and Culture. The Lifetime Achievement Award for Music is sponsored by South African Music Rights Organisation

The Arts & Culture Trust (ACT) is South Africa’s premier independent arts funding and development agency. The primary aim of ACT is to increase the amount of funding available for arts and culture initiatives, and to apply these funds to innovative, sustainable projects that make a meaningful contribution to society. Through structured funding and development programmes, ACT provides support for all expressions of arts and culture, including literature, music, visual art, theatre and dance, and the support extends to festivals, community arts initiatives, arts management, arts education and arts administration. Follow ACT on Twitter or like the Trust’s Facebook page or visit the ACT website.

About the Southern African Music Rights Organisation (SAMRO)

SAMRO was 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. Click here for more information.