Chaka Chaka to get ‘un­ex­pected hon­our’

Weekend Argus (Sunday Edition) - - NEWS - AMANDA MALIBA

YVONNE Chaka Chaka is to re­ceive “an un­ex­pected hon­our” at the Black En­ter­tain­ment Tele­vi­sion (BET) Awards in Los Angeles.

The South African singer will be hon­oured with the 2017 BET In­ter­na­tional Global Good Star and Power award with So­mali-Canadian so­cial ac­tivist Il­wad El­man.

Chaka Chaka said: “I must say I never an­tic­i­pated this BET award. I never thought I would get it be­cause they (BET) play a very dif­fer­ent genre of mu­sic than mine. But I am so ex­tremely hum­bled”.

The singer’s mu­sic has turned her into a worl­drenowned artist who is in­spired by ev­ery­thing she sees and wit­nesses.

“My mu­sic is in­spired by what hap­pens around me when I travel – the good and the bad, the joys and the suc­cesses.

“I am lucky to be able to ar­tic­u­late those things through mu­sic and there­fore con­nect with every­one. When I be­came the first African wo­man to be awarded the World Eco­nomic Fo­rum’s crys­tal award, it was a real big deal in the mu­sic in­dus­try.

“For me to re­ceive this award is a great en­cour­age­ment. To know that while I was go­ing about my busi­ness, some­one was wat ch i n g , fol­low­ing and ap­pre­ci­at­ing my work.”

The Umqom­bothi hit­maker sees this year as a great year for her so far, with the up­com­ing award to add to the Crans Mon­tana award she re­ceived this year in Morocco. “To top up all the good things that have hap­pened thus far, next week I am also re­leas­ing my new al­bum ti­tled Keep Look­ing at Me. “I have been in the stu­dio for the past cou­ple of months, work­ing with Themba, my son, and have col­lab­o­rated with artists such as Ali Kiba from Tan­za­nia, Nt­siki Mazwai and Betrita, among oth­ers.” Be­sides her usual melodies, Chaka Chaka has ex­per­i­mented with new sounds on the al­bum. She was in Namibia this week to shoot a video. “I worked with some dis­abled kids from there, who are ab­so­lutely amaz­ing singers. The al­bum is done and dusted. I must say the jour­ney of mak­ing it has been in­cred­i­ble.”

Chaka Chaka has also been an ad­vo­cate of good works in Africa. She has served as a good­will am­bas­sador for the United Na­tions Chil­dren’s Fund and has part­nered with Roll Back Malaria for the past 12 years. She also started the Princess of Africa Foun­da­tion, which aims to carry out com­mu­nity and ad­vo­cacy work.

“I am a mu­si­cian first be­fore any of the hu­man­i­tar­ian work I do. But I think those things go hand in hand. If I was not a mu­si­cian, the whole world would not have known Yvonne Machaka. So it all started with my mu­sic to be where I am today.”

Fash­ion is al­ways the talk of any awards. Chaka Chaka said that no mat­ter how she was dressed she would fly the African flag high.

“I am a very sim­ple and calm per­son and will also be me in all that I wear.”

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