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Master KG Wins 'Best African Act' at MTV Europe Music Awards.

Master KG Wins 'Best African Act' at MTV Europe Music Awards

Master KG continues on a spectacular winning streak with his prolific hit song 'Jerusalema' featuring Nomcebo Zikode.

The wins just keep coming for South African artist and DJ Master KG. The bolobedu house musician has recently been named "Best African Act" at the MTV Europe Music Awards following the continued international success of his hit song "Jerusalema" featuring fellow artist Nomcebo Zikode. The well-deserved award comes off the heels of the remix of "Jerusalema" featuring both Zikode and Nigerian superstar Burna Boy having been certified diamond in France—no small feat.

READ: The 'Jerusalema' Phenomenon Shows Africa's Trendsetting Abilities

In his acceptance speech, Master KG said, "I would love to thank my sister Nomcebo, my team Open Mic Productions, and everyone who has supported Master KG, thank you so much. To all my fans all over the world."

Master KG beat out fellow South African artists Kabza De Small and DJ Maphorisa as well as Burna Boy in what ended both Nigeria's longstanding reign and South Africa's 7-year losing streak at the awards show.

In a recent interview with OkayAfrica, Master KG explains how the vitality of "Jerusalem" took even him by surprise:

"Yeah. To be honest, everything that happened globally with "Jerusalema" is something that I never expected. It's all a surprise. Even on all of these big platforms. I never even thought I would actually get there. I need to be honest. Your mind is around a South African focus. That's where you're looking up to, that's where you know that your music will always win and people will also relate with it, because they understand what you're singing about, as well as the language."

The South African artist is currently working on a deluxe edition of his 2020 album titled Jerusalema with some potentially epic collaborations with music heavyweights in the pipeline.

Below is the full list of winners of the 2020 MTV Europe Music Awards:

BEST VIDEO

WINNER: DJ Khaled – "Popstar" feat. Drake
Billie Eilish – "Everything I Wanted"
Cardi B – "WAP" feat. Megan Thee Stallion
Karol G – "Tusa" feat. Nicki Minaj
Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande – "Rain on Me"
Taylor Swift – "The Man"
The Weeknd – "Blinding Lights"

BEST ARTIST

WINNER: Lady Gaga
Dua Lipa
Harry Styles
Justin Bieber
Miley Cyrus
The Weeknd

BEST SONG

WINNER: BTS – Dynamite
DaBaby – "Rockstar" feat. Roddy Ricch
Dua Lipa – "Don't Start Now"
Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande – "Rain on Me"
Roddy Ricch – "The Box"
The Weeknd – "Blinding Lights"

BEST COLLABORATION

WINNER: Karol G – "Tusa" feat. Nicki Minaj
BlackPink and Selena Gomez – "Ice Cream"
Cardi B – WAP" feat. Megan Thee Stallion
DaBaby – "Rockstar" feat. Roddy Ricch
Justin Bieber – "Intentions" feat. Quavo
Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande – "Rain on Me"
Sam Smith and Demi Lovato – "I'm Ready"

BEST POP

WINNER: Little Mix
Dua Lipa
Harry Styles
Justin Bieber
Katy Perry
Lady Gaga
BTS

BEST GROUP

WINNER: BTS
5 Seconds of Summer
BlackPink
Chloe x Halle
CNCO
Little Mix

BEST NEW

WINNER: Doja Cat
Benee
DaBaby
Jack Harlow
Roddy Ricch
Yungblud

BIGGEST FANS

WINNER: BTS
Ariana Grande
BlackPink
Justin Bieber
Lady Gaga
Taylor Swift

BEST LATIN

WINNER: Karol G
Anuel AA
Bad Bunny
J Balvin
Maluma
Ozuna

BEST ROCK

WINNER: Coldplay
Green Day
Liam Gallagher
Pearl Jam
Tame Impala
The Killers

BEST HIP-HOP

WINNER: Cardi B
DaBaby
Drake
Eminem
Megan Thee Stallion
Roddy Ricch
Travis Scott

BEST ELECTRONIC

WINNER: David Guetta
Calvin Harris
Kygo
Marshmello
Martin Garrix
The Chainsmokers

BEST ALTERNATIVE

WINNER: Hayley Williams
Blackbear
FKA Twigs
Machine Gun Kelly
The 1975
Twenty One Pilots

VIDEO FOR GOOD

WINNER: H.E.R. – "I Can't Breathe"
Anderson .Paak – "Lockdown"
David Guetta and Sia – "Let's Love"
Demi Lovato – "I Love Me"
Jorja Smith – "By Any Means"
Lil Baby – "The Bigger Picture"

BEST PUSH

WINNER: Yungblud
AJ Mitchell
Ashnikko
Benee
Brockhampton
Conan Gray
Doja Cat
Georgia
Jack Harlow
Lil Tecca
Tate McRae
Wallows

BEST VIRTUAL LIVE

WINNER: BTS – Map of the Soul Concert Live Stream
J Balvin – Behind the Colores Live Experience
Katy Perry @ Tomorrow Land – Around the World
Little Mix – Uncancelled
Maluma – Papi Juancho Live
Post Malone – Nirvana Tribute

BEST UK & IRELAND ACT

WINNER: Little Mix
AJ Tracey
Joel Corry
Jorja Smith
Lewis Capaldi
The 1975.

MTV EMA GENERATION CHANGE AWARDS

WINNER: Luiza Brasil (Brazil)
WINNER: Kiki Mordi (Nigeria)
WINNER: Temi Mwale (UK)
WINNER: Catherhea Potjanaporn (Malaysia)
WINNER: Raquel Willis (US)

Interview
Image: Courtesy TIFF

Jenna Cato Bass is Capturing the Horrors of an Unhealed Nation

The film marks the South African director's third debut and stride towards making a name for herself in the international film circuit.

Ever since premiering her debut film, Love the One You Love, which won the Best Feature Film at the Jozi Festival in 2015, Jenna Cato Bass has been a name to watch on the international film festival circuit. Her 2017 feature, High Fantasy, was the first of her films to land on the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) lineup, followed by Flatland in 2019. Her latest offering, Mlungu Wam (Good Madam), debuted at TIFF in September of 2021 — marking her third time at the esteemed Canadian film event.

Often provocative, always thought-provoking, Bass' films have come to establish her as a director who looks at South Africa's youth, the lives they're living and the future that awaits them, with a nuanced, open-minded lens. For the first time in her career, Bass uses the genre of horror to dig into an enduring mark of the country's past — that of the fraught, complex relationship between madam and domestic worker, in Mlungu Wam (Good Madam). Set in Cape Town, the film follows the unusual, disturbing things that start happening when a young woman moves back in with her estranged mother, who is the longtime caretaker for a rich, white household.

Bass also co-wrote the film Tug of War (Vuta N'Kuvute), which became Tanzania's first film to be selected for TIFF this year, and she co-wrote Rafiki, which was Kenya's first film at TIFF in 2018.

She spoke to OkayAfrica about playing in a new genre and her hopes for African cinema.

Still from Bass's film Mlungu Wam Image: Courtesy TIFF


This story revolves around the relationship between a domestic worker and her 'madam.' What made you want to make a film about this subject?

When I make films, I like the concept to revolve around something that we all have in common - because, despite the many fractures in our society, these shared places exist. And in South Africa, we felt that everyone - in some way or another - has been deeply affected by domestic work and domestic workers, who are a keystone in our society's structure. Additionally, the 'maid' and 'madam' relationship is the ultimate symbol of race relations in South Africa - as well as how they haven't changed significantly, despite almost thirty years of democracy. So a domestic worker was the perfect character around which to centre a South African horror.

The genre of horror works really well to explore this subject and tell this story — when did you know it would be the genre you'd want to use?

The early stages of developing a film aren't always linear for me. I'll be thinking about a genre I'm interested in, and then parallel to that I'll have an idea for a story or a character, and later on, will realize that these pieces all fit together. In this case, I'd been wanting to make a horror film for ages, but hadn't found the right story… until I had the idea for Mlungu Wam, and I realized I was finally ready to try this genre.

What challenges did you face in making a horror?

It was my first time working in this genre, and it was intimidating because there's no saving you if you fail. We were also working on a very, very limited budget, so it wasn't possible to show as much as we'd like to - but then again, this story was all about the subjective and the unseen, so I did as much research and planning as we could, and just had to trust it would work.

Where did you film, and did that have any impact on the process at all?

We filmed in a house in Cape Town, in a gated community in the Southern Suburbs. The house and the environment had a major impact on the film - especially because we were also quarantining there for the full 7 weeks of rehearsal and shooting. The house was our set and our accommodation, so it was very intense, very claustrophobic, and very triggering for many of our team members.

How did you and co-writer Babalwa Baartman work on the story? You've included cast members in the writing process in your previous work — did you do that here too?

Mlungu Wam was made along similar lines to my first two films, Love The One You Love and High Fantasy, where we started with an outline, cast actors, then workshopped the characters collaboratively before completing the story breakdown and using improv for the dialogue. Babalwa and I had worked together using this method on a short film we made in 2019 called Sizohlala. She really understands the process, and it was a really rewarding experience exploring the story with her and our cast.

How did Kristina Ceyton, who produced the excellent acclaimed horrors The Babadook and The Nightingale, through Causeway Films, come to be involved in this film?

I had met Sam Jennings, who is also a producer with Causeway Films, several years ago at a festival. We really connected and kept in touch over the years, sharing our work, and hoping there'd be a chance to collaborate. So when we were developing Mlungu Wam, I pitched her and Kristina the concept and they were immediately supportive. It has been a massive pleasure working with them both.

Your films are known to venture into themes of identity and healing from the past — how does this film speak to that?

Mlungu Wam is definitely about this too - it's a story about three generations of women (actually four, if you include Tsidi's grandmother, who is an unseen character in the film), how they are haunted by the past and eventually refuse to remain chained any longer. Their healing is collective, linked to each other, and wouldn't be possible for them alone as individuals.

Still from Bass's film Mlungu Wam Image: Courtesy TIFF


You've been at TIFF before - how has your experience of it been this year, with it being a hybrid of virtual and in-person?

Things have been quieter and a bit harder to navigate, but the TIFF staff have done incredible work getting the festival off the ground, despite endless challenges. It has felt very surreal to be here, and a privilege - and inspiring too, that we can still get together to celebrate films, even though our world is in such a mess. We had over 200 (socially distanced) people at our last screening, and that was an amazing feeling.

Yours is one of few African films on this year's line-up - is there anything you'd like to see happen to try improve that?

Regarding African cinema, TIFF has a real range of films this year, across several sections. Compared to many other festivals, they seem really invested in supporting cinema from the continent. Of course, this could be better, but it's also an example to other festivals who claim there aren't enough African films, that this is clearly not the case.

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