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Robot Boii’s dance moves, Musa Keys’ amapiano tune earn them Trace Awards gongs

Nomcebo Zikode honoured with Global African Artist award

Masego Seemela Online journalist
Muso Musa Keys
Muso Musa Keys
Image: CK Art Production LTD

Robot Boii and Musa Keys were the only two Mzansi acts to scoop competitive wins at the inaugural Trace Awards on Saturday night in Kigali, Rwanda.

The current SMag cover star and Grammy winner, Nomcebo Zikode, opened the awards ceremony with smash hit Jerusalema before accepting the honorary Global African Artist award. 

Musa Keys and Robot Boii joined Zikode at the BK Arena to accept their awards in person. Other local acts in attendance included KO, Blxckie, Anton Jeftha and DJ PH.

“Thank you to everyone for your continuous support. I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for you. I’d like to thank everyone for the love they’ve shown my song, it truly means a lot,” said Zikode. 

“I’m actually overwhelmed and grateful for the recognition and opportunity given to me. It means a lot being recognised globally as it’s not a thing that happens daily.”

KO was the SA act with the most nominations going into the night, with his smash hit Sete featuring Blxckie and Young Stunna earning him Best Male, Song of the Year and Best Collaboration. He walked away empty-handed. With six nods, KO is also one of the leading nominees at this year’s SA Music Awards (Samas) taking place in Durban next month.

For Best Collaboration, KO lost out to Unavailable, the joint effort between Musa Keys and Nigerian megastar Davido. 

“Within 15 minutes, Musa sent me back the song… I just wasn’t anticipating for it to be this big,” Davido detailed the song-making process during his acceptance speech.

“I’m happy your genre [amapiano] from your country has allowed us to collaborate and we shall continue to do it.” 

The song was also nominated for Best Afrobeat at the 2023 MTV Video Music Awards, which took place in New Jersey, US, last month. The song lost out Calm Down by Rema featuring Selena Gomez.

Robot Boii won Best Dancer, beating Tayc (France), Ghetto Kids (Uganda), Yemi Alade (Nigeria) and Zuchu (Tanzania).

Speaking to Sowetan after his win, Robot Boii said he was going through a mixture of emotions as the award came as a surprise and added that he was glad that amapiano gave him the recognition that he needed as a musician. 

“I’d like to thank God, my parents and my team… this award is for SA,” he said in his acceptance speech. 

“Most of the dances you see on the internet are generated from the genre of amapiano. I want to thank everyone for showing this genre love and I hope all the dancers watching this can see that as a black child, it is possible.” 

Other winners of the night included Davido for Best Male, Alade’s Baddie for Best Music Video, KS Bloom for Best Gospel Artist, Fally Ipupa for Best Live and Burna Boy’s Love Damini for Album of the Year. Song of the Year went to Calm Down by Rema, who was also honoured with Global African Artist Award.

Recognised for his illustrious career, Nigeria megastar 2Face received the award for Lifetime Achievement. 

The four-hour ceremony saw performances from KO, Blxckie, Musa Keys and more.

Musician Nomcebo Zikode
Musician Nomcebo Zikode
Image: CK Art Production LTD
'Calm Down' hit maker Rema
'Calm Down' hit maker Rema
Image: CK Art Production LTD
Nigerian-American musician Davido
Nigerian-American musician Davido
Image: CK Art Production LTD
Actor Anton Jeftha
Actor Anton Jeftha
Image: CK Art Production LTD
TRACE awards trophy
TRACE awards trophy
Image: CK Art Production LTD
Nigerian singer-songwriter 2Baba
Nigerian singer-songwriter 2Baba
Image: CK Art Production LTD

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