South African anti-apartheid icon Miriam Makeba was posthumously honoured at the MTV Africa Music Awards on Saturday, after a career at the pinnacle of the continent’s musical scene, organisers said.
Known as “Mama Africa”, the Grammy-winning Makeba was the musical voice of the fight against whites-only apartheid rule.
“Makeba is a true legend and rightly celebrated throughout the world for her beautiful voice, fighting spirit and pioneering interpretation of African music,” said Alex Okosi, managing director of MTV Networks Africa.
Makeba, who died aged 76 in November 2008 after a performance in Italy, is famed for hits such as Pata Pata and The Click Song.
She won a Grammy award for Best Folk Recording with US singer Harry Belafonte in 1965. But her music was outlawed in her homeland after she appeared in an anti-apartheid film.
The awards ceremony in Nigeria’s commercial capital featured American rapper Rick Ross, as well as a host of top African artists including Fally Ipupa from the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Africa’s Teargas and Kenya’s P-Unit.
Hosted by US hip-hop artist and actress Eve, the event is into its third year and also saw performances from leading Nigerian artists D-Banji and Banky-W.
List of winners
- Best Video : Fally Ipupa Sexy Dance (Democratic RCongo)
- Best Artist : 2Face (Nigeria)
- Best Anglophone : Daddy Owen (Kenya)
- Best Lusophone : Cabo Snoop (Angola)
- Best Francophone : Fally Ipupa (Democratic Republic of Congo)
- Best Female : Sasha (Nigeria)
- Best Male : 2Face (Nigeria)
- Best Song of the year : Liquideep Fairytale (South Africa)
- Best Group : PSquare (Nigeria)
- Best International : Eminem (US)