South African Artists and Fans Celebrate Sjava Winning a BET Award

Sjava is the first South African artist to win the award.

South African ATM artist, Sjava, won the BET Viewer's Choice 'Best International Act' award last night. Sjava was nominated alongside Nigeria's Niniola and Ghana's Kwesi Arthur.

The artist's speech was also epic, as he used more of his mother tongue, IsiZulu in it.


This is a first for a South African artist; the likes of Cassper Nyovest, Emtee and AKA have only made it as far as being nominated. But Sjava brought it home, and both fans and artists are celebrating the artist's win.

Below are some tweets congratulating Sjava:

Sjava released his debut album Isina Muva in 2016 under the indie label Ambitiouz Entertainment to critical acclaim. His music fuses trap with South African genres like maskandi, mbhaqanga, isicathamiya, among others, and is called ATM (African Trap Music). Earlier this year, Sjava made an appearance on Black Panther The Album Black Panther The Album with a verse that's one for the books. On the verse, Sjava manages to tell his life story in 16 bars, and showcases the ATM style.

Watch Sjava's latest video for "Abangani," featuring his fellow ATM soldiers Saudi and Emtee, below:

Music
Photo by Don Paulsen/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Hugh Masekela's New York City Legacy

A look back at the South African legend's time in New York City and his enduring presence in the Big Apple.

In Questlove's magnificent documentary, Summer of Soul, he captures a forgotten part of Black American music history. But in telling the tale of the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival, the longtime musician and first-time filmmaker also captures a part of lost South African music history too.

Among the line-up of blossoming all-stars who played the Harlem festival, from a 19-year-old Stevie Wonder to a transcendent Mavis Staples, was a young Hugh Masekela. 30 years old at the time, he was riding the wave of success that came from releasing Grazing in the Grass the year before. To watch Masekela in that moment on that stage is to see him at the height of his time in New York City β€” a firecracker musician who entertained his audiences as much as he educated them about the political situation in his home country of South Africa.

The legacy Masekela sowed in New York City during the 1960s remains in the walls of the venues where he played, and in the dust of those that are no longer standing. It's in the records he made in studios and jazz clubs, and on the Manhattan streets where he once posed with a giant stuffed zebra for an album cover. It's a legacy that still lives on in tangible form, too, in the Hugh Masekela Heritage Scholarship at the Manhattan School of Music.

The school is the place where Masekela received his education and met some of the people that would go on to be life-long bandmates and friends, from Larry Willis (who, as the story goes, Masekela convinced to give up opera for piano) to Morris Goldberg, Herbie Hancock and Stewart Levine, "his brother and musical compadre," as Mabusha Masekela, Bra Hugh's nephew says.

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