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Nigeria's Burna Boy and South Africa's Sho Madjozi Won Big at the BET Awards

The multitalented artists are the music game's best international acts for this year.

Last night, Nigeria's Burna Boy and South Africa's Sho Madjozi came through for the continent as they bagged Best International Act and Best New International Act (fan-voted) respectively at the BET Awards held in Los Angeles, California.


Sho Madjozi's win was historic for the country as she became the first South African female artist to win a BET award. The visibly emotional "Huku Nambiya" singer-songwriter took to the stage in her signature colorful style to accept her award from American actor, Terrence J. Always a fierce cheerleader for her hometown Limpopo, she spoke about how her humble beginnings did not prevent her from being the superstar she's always dreamt of. "My story is a testament that you can come from any village, in any forgotten part of the world, and still be a superstar."

Also repping for the continent was the indomitable Burna Boy. South African rapper AKA, who was also in the running for Best International Act, lost to Burna Boy and definitely left his loyal Megacy in their feels. Bose Ogulu or "Mama Burna", the artist's mother and manager, accepted the award on her son's behalf saying, "Thank you very much BET, thank you Africa. That is the constituency for which we got noticed." Mama Burna wasn't done though, she had a word for African-Americans and added that, "The message from Burna would be that every Black person should please remember that you were African before you became anything else."

Watch Mama Burna's acceptance speech here.

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Photo: Lex Ash (@thelexash). Courtesy of Simi.

Interview: Simi Is Taking Risks

Nigerian star Simi talks about the successes & risks of this year, her thoughts on the #EndSARS protests, and how her husband, Adekunle Gold, inspired Restless II.

Simi is restless. It has nothing to do with the year she has had, in fact, she reaffirmed her status as one of Nigeria's most successful musicians with a single music drop, "Duduke," which enjoyed widespread appeal as the nation went into lockdown earlier in the year.

The 32-year-old singer's restlessness is a reflection of the organised chaos that has defined her recording process this year as she combined the rigours of being an expectant mother with an examination of her place in the wider world. It, more accurately, reflects her re-negotiation of the parameters of her stardom.

"I've never really been a big fan of the spotlight," she whispers silently early in our Zoom conversation. "I know that it comes with the territory, but when I got my big break and more people started to recognise me, I realised that I had to edit myself, my life, and most of the things that I'd do or say because I wanted to be careful to keep a part of me for myself."

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