Black Coffee Is the First South African Artist to Win a BET Award

The Durban-based DJ and producer was awarded Best International Act: Africa.
June 27, 2016, 5:04pm
Photo courtesy of Wikipedia commons

Durban DJ and producer, Black Coffee, is the first South African artist ever to win a BET award, a distinction he received at the ceremony in Los Angeles last night. Nathi Maphumulo received the honors for "Best International Act: Africa," beating out Drake's "One Dance" collaborator Wizkid, South African rapper AKA, Ivorian artist Serge Beynaud, and more.

In his acceptance speech, he said, "I didn't prepare a speech, but this is for the fans. This is for every kid in Africa that thinks they cannot stay here."

— Gabi Mbele (@TheGabi)June 25, 2016

In an interview with SABC News moments before winning, Maphumulo said he appreciated the BET's focus on African artists. "It is great that the BET awards are making an effort to acknowledge the awesome musicians and creatives that are there in the whole continent of Africa," he said. "I have been traveling to and fro with the Black Eyed Peas and I am always blown away by the talent there so it is great that America is putting the spotlight to help show the whole entire world the talent that's there."

The president of South Africa, Jacob Zuma, issued a statement congratulating the artist on the achievement: "DJ Black Coffee continues to inspire our youth with this achievement and has now become our prime international export in the music industry, as an example of the South African youth talent," he said. "Our nation is immensely proud of him and this achievement in particular. We congratulate him most heartily."

Black Coffee and and Mque's video for "Come With Me" captures the magical connectivity of a great club night. Last year, he spoke to THUMP about how his career has developed since beginning in 1997, and the struggle for South African artists to be recognized in their own right.

Follow Alexander on Twitter.