BET Ex­pe­ri­ence kicks off with a glitzy presser

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The much-an­tic­i­pated BET Ex­pe­ri­ence Africa kicked off on Fri­day morn­ing with a glitzy press con­fer­ence at the Radis­son Blu Ho­tel in Sand­ton.

In­ter­na­tional R&B su­per­star Mary J Blige was the cen­tre of at­ten­tion in a plat­inum bob and all-white jump­suit. She shared her ex­cite­ment to be in South Africa again, her first visit since 2008. Blige said her set list would be in­flu­enced by her fans and life ex­pe­ri­ences. “I try to put to­gether the stuff peo­ple re­mem­ber the most, not just the hits,” she shared in a rich, laid-back drawl.

It’s soul artist Raphael Saadiq’s first visit and he ad­mit­ted that he was sur­prised by the mu­si­cal choices his South African fans wanted to hear – that we know his mu­sic at all ex­cited him.

Satur­day’s mega­con­cert and fes­ti­val of­fered a new kind of life­style show­case to vis­i­tors that cel­e­brates ur­ban cul­ture through live acts, cloth­ing ex­hi­bi­tions, mo­ti­va­tional talks and bas­ket­ball games.

Lo­cal stars AKA and Em­tee shared that they shot a mu­sic video for a col­lab­o­ra­tive track on Thurs­day. They were billed along­side other African mu­si­cians Di­a­mond Plat­numz and Flavour. It was a break­out year for our fe­male em­cees, and rap­pers Patty Mon­roe and Fifi Cooper were great rep­re­sen­ta­tives.

Lo­cal co­me­dian Tats Nkonzo and Kenyan co­me­dian Churchill had the room roar­ing with laugh­ter, giv­ing guests a dose of what to ex­pect from the stand-up com­edy ses­sions at BET.

TV per­son­al­ity Min­nie Dlamini, rap­per Stilo Magolide, de­sign­ers David Tlale and Anisa Mpungwe, and NBA All-Star Cedric Ce­bal­los were in at­ten­dance too.

Notably miss­ing from the press con­fer­ence were singer Maxwell and rap­per Young Thug.

SOUL SINGER Raphael Saadiq rep­re­sented old-school R&B

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