SA Musician Zakes Bantwini brings home his 1st Grammy Award
SA Musician Zakes Bantwini brings home his 1st Grammy Award. Photo: Twitter / Zakes Bantwini

South Africa’s very own Zakes Bantwini won his first Grammy Award for Best Global Music Performance during last night’s 65th Grammy Awards. The award came for “Bayethe”, his magnetic collaboration with Wouter Kellerman and Nomcebo Zikode.

After winning the Grammy, Zakes shared how he met Wouter at the SAMAs: “I think the beautiful story is we met with Wouter chatting about this at the South African Music Awards. So we met at the awards in South Africa talking about this particular moment, and here today we’re at the Grammys. Come on!”

Taking to social media, the emotional musician said: “Took me 17 years to find my path, I have no words to express the emotions and grace that have come over me. This moment is owed to my late Mother & Father. I’m grateful. Unkulu’ Nkulu uNumber 1!!!!”

Sadly Zakes’ father died just before he could see the world honour his son’s talent. Zakes’ wife Nandi Madida said Zakes’ “father and last parent alive sadly passed on last month. It was such a challenging time for Zakes, but I know his father is so proud of him right now 😇🥹. You have gained a powerful ancestor. Congrats for winning the Grammy.”

SA Musician Zakes Bantwini brings home his 1st Grammy Award
SA Musician Zakes Bantwini brings home his 1st Grammy Award. Photo supplied

Now, having won the actual award, Zakes hopes this can prove to all young South Africans that anything is possible.

“This award is not just for us, it’s for everyone back home. This moment is testament to the fact that our dreams are valid and we can accomplish anything we set our minds on. I want every young kid in the ghetto in South Africa to dream big and believe that we deserve to be recognised on the biggest stages in the world. Thank you to my team at IMG Africa, my collaborators Wouter Kellerman and Nomcebo Zikode, and everyone who’s been supporting us along this journey.”

Sibo Mhlungu (also known as Sibo The Zulu), who’s Zakes’ business partner and manager, added:

“This is an incredibly special moment for us. When Zakes and I started this company a year and a half ago, our goal was always to compete on the world stage. This moment didn’t come by chance – we prepared for it and we spoke it into existence. A big congratulations is due to my team and everyone involved in this project, we’re definitely celebrating this one all year.”

This Grammy is the cherry on top of a busy awards season in which Zakes has bagged two South African Music Awards (Highest Airplay and Best Collaboration), a GQ Award for Musician of the Year, and a South African Social Media Award (SASMA) for Most Popular Song on South African Social Media. His latest collaboration with Kususa and Argento Dust titled “Asanda” has also been blazing a trail on local radio and looks set to be his next big hit.

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