South African rapper, singer and songwriter Sho Madjozi, whose real name is Maya Christinah Xichavo Wegerif, has won the Best New International Act at the prestigious 2019 BET Awards in Los Angeles. This makes her the first ever female South African to win a BET award. Sho Madjozi was competing with the likes of Teniola Apata from Nigeria, Headie One and Octavian from the UK, and France’s Jokair and Nesly.
“My story is a testament that you can come from any village, in any forgotten part of the world, and still be a superstar. For girls that come from where I am from, which is Limpopo, I just want to say that you don’t need to change who you are, you can still be big,” she said in her acceptance speech.
Madjozi is considered one of the best performers in Africa. She is known for incorporating Tsonga language and culture into her music. She earned recognition following the release of her debut album, Limpopo Champions League, which experimented infusing elements from various genres including hip hop and Tsonga music. She uses a Tsonga signature style concerning her music and fashion sense.
Madjozi is known to be unapologetically proud of her Tsonga culture, commonly playing with traditional wear and even performing the indigenous xibelani dance where she wears a skirt called a tinguvu around her waist and then shakes her waist as part of her performances. She is also known for her colourful image and her hairstyles influenced by Fulani and Tuareg women.
South Africans took to social media to celebrate Madjozi's win. @lasizwe tweeted,"SHO MAJOZI, Just did that!!!! Congratulations @ShoMadjozi on your BET Award! #BETAwards19 Rt in appreciation for the Superstar that is Sho Majozi!! #iyaa!!!" @SosoCPT tweeted,"#BETAwards She brought it home!!! Sho Madjozi flying the SA flag very high 🇿🇦 🥰❤🎉🍾🥳 I'm so proud of her 💃🏾💃🏾"
Header Image Credit: Zkhiphani.co.za