Only one thing shone brighter at this week’s Grammys than the lights of host city Las Vegas: the talent of South Africans on the world stage. 🇿🇦
These are the locals who made us proud at the 64th edition of the global music award.
🔹 Black Coffee has worked hard for decades to build serious international clout as a house artist. When his nomination was announced last year in the Best Dance/Electronic Album category, we celebrated – and our joy tripled when the muso, real name Nkosinathi Maphumulo, bagged the award! It’s the first time anyone in Africa has won in this category. (Miriam Makeba and the Soweto Gospel Choir, among others, have won previously in other categories). The 46-year-old’s win was for his 7th studio album Subconsciously, which featured collaborators like Usher, David Guetta and our very own Msaki. It was released last year to international acclaim. In the wake of his historic win, he told the BBC that he would now focus on helping more African musicians to gain global recognition.
🔹Trevor Noah is another who’s worked hard to reach the top: he hustled for years and rose from a challenging background. These days he wins Emmy and MTV awards, has been named one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world and… hosted the Grammys for the second year in a row! He generally plays it safe with the jokes at this event (just as well, given Will Smith’s klap of Chris Rock at the Oscars, which Noah cheekily referenced). However, he did use the platform to raise important global issues, like Russia’s war in Ukraine. That’s his signature style: marrying humour and a real insight into socio-political issues. We stan.
🔹Never mind the feat of having a South African host – let’s talk about the feet clad in local designer Skinny Sbu’s socks. These were included in the Grammy gift bags, which we told you about a few weeks ago, and were reportedly the only African brand included in the swag bag gifted to nominees, performers, presenters and journalists. Sibusiso Ngwenya launched his sock company in April 2013, vowing to build it into a local brand made global. We reckon he’s done just that!
🔹Finally, a shout out to Doja Cat for her first Grammy. The artist, real name Amala Ratna Zandile Dlamini, is half South African and half American. She was raised in the US, though; her deadbeat father Dumisani Dlamini (best known for his role in the iconic 1992 film Sarafina) played no role in her upbringing and she has no formal ties to our land. Still, we celebrate her! The 26-year-old is described by The Wall Street Journal as “a skilled technical rapper with a strong melodic sense and a bold visual presence”. Her chart-topping single Kiss Me More, featuring SZA, bagged the pair a Grammy. Hilariously, she almost missed giving her acceptance speech thanks to an ill-timed bathroom break. “Girl, you went to the bathroom for like five minutes, are you serious,” SZA joked to her collaborator on stage, who responded, “Listen, I have never taken such a fast p— in my whole life.” 😂
So, dear African child, these wins are for you! Our fellow South Africans are showing us how far hard work and vision can take you. 🙌