By the end of the 2014 Channel O Music Awards ceremony, held at the Nasrec Indoor Expo Centre in Johannesburg on Saturday, audience members were left scratching their heads, trying to figure out why the renowned kwaito group Boom Shaka had only just received their first award – ever.
The group, which consisted of Junior Sokhela, Theo Nhlengethwa, Thembi Seete and the late Lebo Mathosa, were among the pioneers of kwaito music when they burst onto the scene in 1993 with their first single, It’s About Time.
The awards show, which has been running for 14 years, presented Boom Shaka with a special recognition award for their contribution to Africa’s music industry.
The trio of remaining members, dressed in white, took to the stage to perform classics such as It’s About Time, Free and Thobela. Seete said she wished Mathosa, who died in a car accident in 2006, were alive to share the historic moment with them.
Boom Shaka may no longer be what they used to be, but they will always be recognised for their pop hits, trendsetting dance moves and fashion sense – including their box braids, colourful hair extensions and “pleather” shorts paired with Dr Martens boots.
South African reality television personality Siyabonga Ngwekazi hosted the event with Nigerian model and television presenter Eku Edewor.
Rapper and 2014 Channel O Music Awards nominee KO opened the show in style, arriving on stage in a mini-bus (popularly known as a caracara) alongside fellow rapper Kid X to perform their hit Caracara. Their performance set the tone for the night’s theme of cars and racing.
Other big winners, as voted by the public, included South African rapper Cassper Nyovest, who bagged three awards for most gifted male artist, most gifted Southern African artist and the big one, most gifted video of the year, for his hit Doc Shebeleza – the remix of which featured esteemed American rapper Talib Kweli. This has been a golden year for the Mafikeng-born Nyovest, whose debut album, Tsholofelo, reached gold status.
Tanzanian singer Diamond also walked away with three awards for most gifted newcomer, most gifted Afro-pop artist and most gifted East African artist for his hit Number One.
Most gifted male – Cassper Nyovest (Doc Shebeleza)
Most gifted female – Tiwa Savage featuring Don Jazzy (Eminado)
Most gifted newcomer –Diamond (Number One)
Most gifted duo, group or featured collaboration – KCee featuring Wizkid (Pull Over)
Most gifted ragga dancehall – Buffalo Souljah (Basawine)
Most gifted dance – Busiswa featuring Oskido and Uhuru (Ngoku)
Most gifted Afro-pop – Diamond (Number One)
Most gifted kwaito – Uhuru featuring Oskido and Professor (Y-Tjukutja)
Most gifted R&B – Donald (Crazy But Amazing)
Most gifted hip-hop – AKA (Congratulate)
Most gifted Southern African artist – Cassper Nyovest (Doc Shebeleza)
Most gifted West African artist – Olamide (Turn Up)
Most gifted East African artist – Diamond (Number One)
Most gifted video of the year – Cassper Nyovest (Doc Shebeleza)