Makhadzi dedicates her first BET nomination to her hometown, HaMashamba

Limpopo dance queen Makhadzi is dedicating her BET nomination to young aspiring musicians from her hometown, HaMashamba, encouraging them that they too can make it internationally.

The eclectic singer and performer, whose real name is Ndivhudzannyi Ralivhona, has bagged her very first BET nomination in the Viewer’s Choice: Best New International Act category at the award ceremony which is set to take place next month.

She will be vying for the coveted title against SA’s very own amapiano producer Tyler ICU, Nigerian singer-songwriter Seyi Vibez, British musicians Bellah and Cristale as well as rapper Duquesa, music journalist and singer Holly G, french singer Jungeli and rapper Oruam.

The multi-award-winning artist exclusively told Sowetan S Mag that she wanted to be a mirror for musicians from disadvantaged backgrounds who want to be just like her, to never give up hope – motivating them that talent gets you in but hard work keeps you at the top of your game.

“Never give up, believe in yourself and your God-given talent, and do not relax when you finally get recognised. Work hard like there is no tomorrow,” said the Ghanama singer. “When you get to the studio give it your all, treat every performance as your last, and most importantly … respect people and be kind because everyone is important in life.”

Image: Supplied.
She also urged them to thoroughly read all the contracts before signing or to at least involve a lawyer as she too was embroiled in a tug-of-war with her former record label last year.

“I’m well aware that I put a lot of effort in my craft but this [nomination] came as a surprise to me because I was not expecting something like this at all,” she said. “This nomination means growth and global recognition to my music career and for me, it’s a step in the right direction.”

Looking back to how she started, Makhadzi revealed she never had an inkling that her future would see her being named as one of Africa’s biggest artists who is known across the world.

“I never even for a second thought the world or even the country would know me or that I’d be this big,” she laughs. “I had a very difficult path in my music career, from performing at taxi ranks, selling CDs in the streets, my experience with previous managers and record companies, and so on.

“I’m just glad I am here today and my talent is being appreciated.”

Speaking on the significant impact she had on the African music landscape, the 27-year-old shared that although she’s happy to be known worldwide, fame does come at a cost. “I can’t post the same way as I used to on social media. I need to be careful with what I share at all times,” she said.

“However, other things for me it’s okay because I am what I am because of my fans. I know people celebrate me but I don’t allow fame to get into my head, I consider myself as a talented young girl from the deep rural village [of HaMashamba] in Venda; that’s how I identify myself, being a celebrity is a lot of work hence I never perceive myself as one.”

Should the budding actor – who made a brief appearance on e.tv’s Isitha: The Enemy three weeks ago – win this award, she will join stars such as Sjava, Sho Madjozi and Black Coffee who’ve all walked away with a Best New International Act award.

She revealed that the first thing she’ll do when she wins the award is to “go back to where it all started and celebrate with the people, my people who’ve been with me through this whole journey”.


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