Zakes Bantwini Black Coffee[Image: Recording Academy/Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times/Getty]

The Blue-Tick Controversy: Mzansi Questions Black Coffee’s Reaction to Zakes Bantwini’s Grammy Win

Once the epitome of musical harmony, Black Coffee and Zakes Bantwini’s partnership has since soured.

The duo captivated South Africa with their unforgettable hits like “Take It All Off” and “Juju” over a decade ago, but now the two have a strained relationship.

South Africans were overjoyed on February 5, 2023, when Zakes Bantwini earned his first Grammy award in the Best Global Music performance category. The award recognized his contribution to Wouter Kellerman’s hit song “Bayethe,” which features Nomcebo Zikode.

The news of Bantwini’s victory brought excitement and pride to the South African community globally

Interestingly, Zakes Bantwini became the second South African, along with Wouter Kellerman and Nomcebo Zikode, to bring a Grammy to South Africa, following in the footsteps of his former close friend, Black Coffee. The “We Dance Again” hitmaker had previously won the Best Dance/Electronic Album award at the 2021 Grammys.

South Africans were surprised to see that Black Coffee did not offer congratulations to Zakes Bantwini on social media after his Grammy win.

This was in stark contrast to when Black Coffee won a Grammy last year, when Zakes publicly praised his former collaborator, acknowledging that he had earned the award.

However, a fan posted an old picture of the former friends performing on stage with photoshopped Grammy awards on the ground and Black Coffee commented and retweeted it.

Black Coffee Zakes Bantwini
[Image: Gallo Images/Oupa Bopape]
In 2021, the co-host of “Podcast and Chill,” Sol Phenduka, asked Black Coffee about his issues with Zakes on Twitter, to which Black Coffee responded:

“No, there is no conflict. We had our differences, and both agreed not to have a working relationship anymore.”

South Africans think the two are still beefing.


“Pride has got him Black Coffee like this.”


“If Zakes did congratulate Black Coffee shuthi no Black Coffee will return the favour.”


“Like Stevie Wonder, I don’t see it [the congratulations message] coming.


“Crazy how Zakes Bantwini & Black Coffee went from being this tight to hating each other aaaaaand winning Grammys.”

By jdt