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SA stars go cultural at BET event

Cassper and Sjava at the BET Awards.
Cassper and Sjava at the BET Awards.

Local rapper Sjava not only stole the night in Hollywood with his big win at the BET Awards, but he made a proudly South African statement as he collected his gong in his Zulu warrior-style attire.

The Ngempela hit-maker had cameras flashing rocking ibeshu (Zulu traditional apron made out of calf skin to cover the bottom half). The barefooted star accessorised his ensemble with a Zulu traditional leopard headpiece and embroidered reed mat referred to as icansi.

The Afro-futuristic theme for this year's awards hosted by American actor and musician Jamie Foxx was Wakanda Forever, inspired by blockbuster film Black Panther.

Sjava won the award for Viewers' Choice Best International Act, beating big names such as Niniola from Nigeria and Brazil's MC Soffia.

"Winning this award means that you don't have to sway away from your roots to get recognition," Sjava told Sowetan from LA yesterday.

"It is not only my story but it is an African story. Let it be an inspirational story to every dreamer out there."

Although he lost out to Nigerian megastar Davido in the Best International Act category, rapper Cassper Nyovest also stuck to the theme, presumably channelling Eddie Murphy's character from 1988 urban cult classic Coming to America.

Cassper donned tiger print layers.

South African stars Pearl Thusi, Nomzamo Mbatha, Dineo Ranaka and Nandi Madida were also in attendance.

Local gqom duo Distruction Boyz, nominated on the night, missed the show. By the time of publication Sowetan was still waiting for a statement on why they didn't make the trip.

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