Tyala and Makhadzi

South African artists celebrated major victories at the BET Awards 2024. Tyla, a 22-year-old Afrobeats sensation, and Limpopo’s own Makhadzi, both took home prestigious awards.

The awards ceremony took place on Sunday night at the Peacock Theatre in Los Angeles, California. Tyla was honored with the Best New Artist and Best International Act awards. Meanwhile, Makhadzi secured the BET Viewers’ Choice: Best International Act.

Tyla’s Unforgettable Night

Tyla graced the blue carpet in a stunning custom black halter neck gown by Versace. She complemented her outfit with over $230,000 (R4.1 million) worth of jewelry from Jared Atelier, including diamond drop earrings featuring natural morganite and diamonds, as well as an emerald-cut diamond tennis bracelet valued at $115,000 (R2 million).

Winning Best New Artist, Tyla outshone competitors such as Sexyy Red, 4Batz, 41, Ayra Starr, Bossman Dlow, Fridayy, and October London. This marked her second victory, having previously won Best New International Act.

“This is crazy,” Tyla exclaimed. “I love Sexyy Red. I love her so much. This is such a gift to be here. I want to dedicate this one to Africa. I want to dedicate this one to all the African superstars before me who didn’t get the opportunities I am getting. It’s amazing. Africa to the world, guys,” she added with enthusiasm.

Tyla’s performance was a high-energy, safari-themed spectacle from her debut album released in March. She made a dramatic entrance, descending onto the stage on a rope trapeze swing, before joining a giant cage with women painted to resemble different parts of a tiger and a statue of an elephant. The performance included dancers on giraffe-like stilts and guest appearances by American rapper Gunna and Jamaican dancehall artist Skillibeng.

Makhadzi, hailing from Limpopo, triumphed over Bellah, Cristale, Duquesa, Holly G, Jungeli, Oruam, Seyi Vibez, and fellow South African Tyler ICU to win her award.

Makhadzi Performs at BET Awards

The 28-year-old artist, who performed at the BET International nominees celebration at the Grammy Museum on Friday, dazzled in a red silk gown inspired by the South African flag designed by Mamello Makha. The elaborate gown, which took over 10 days to create, featured a sculptural piece beaded with the colors of the national flag.

Upon receiving her award during the BET red carpet pre-show, Makhadzi was overcome with emotion, collapsing in joy and disbelief as her shoes fell off. She expressed her gratitude and joy, saying:

“I’m so happy. I started music from the streets, and today I’m here. My dream just came true. I’m speechless. All I can say is that it’s possible for a black child to make it, and this is the best birthday ever,” Makhadzi shared with TimesLIVE.

She added, “Everyone is waiting for me at home to bring home the award, and today is my birthday, so it brought me good luck. I’m Makhadzi because of my fans and followers who keep supporting me. I appreciate their love and I’m here today because of them. I love you guys.”

Other Notable Wins

The night also saw Killer Mike win Album of the Year. Best Female R&B/Pop Artist, a category where Tyla was nominated, went to Sza. Usher received the Best Male R&B/Pop Artist award and was honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award.


By Letho

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