'We made it' - Nomcebo Zikode hopes her Grammy win will be 'a symbol of hope for the African child'

Nomcebo Zikode accepts the Best Global Music Performance award for "Bayethe" onstage during the 65th GRAMMY Awards.
Nomcebo Zikode accepts the Best Global Music Performance award for "Bayethe" onstage during the 65th GRAMMY Awards.
Photo: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images
  • Nomcebo Zikode is over the moon to be the second South African woman to receive a Grammy award after Miriam Makeba.
  • Zikode, Wouter Kellerman and Zakes Bantwini received a Grammy award for Bayethe at music's most prestigious event on Sunday.
  • In an interview with News24, she says plans are underway to celebrate the momentous achievement.

Singer-songwriter Nomcebo Zikode was, rightfully, still on cloud nine and basking in the glory of receiving her first-ever Grammy award and becoming the second South African woman, after Miriam Makeba, to receive the nod from music's most prestigious event.

Zikode, Wouter Kellerman and Zakes Bantwini won the award for Best Global Performance in the Global Music category for Bayethe at the 65th edition of the awards, which took place on Sunday in Los Angeles.

In an interview with News24, Zikode spoke about being the second South African woman to receive the award, where it all started and, of course, how the three of them will celebrate their achievement.

"I'm really so happy that I'm actually the second woman after Mam' Miriam Makeba to take this award as a South African woman," she says. "I think Mam' Miriam Makeba took this award years back in 1966 if I'm not mistaken. So, for me to take this award, I'm so happy, and because I'm from a small township in Hammarsdale, I am hoping that someone from somewhere is getting inspiration out of all of this, that it is possible - Nomcebo has done it, I can also win a Grammy one day."

Zikode added that winning the award brought her "so much joy and fulfilment".

READ MORE | Nomcebo Zikode feels 'humbled and privileged' to have won her first Grammy award

"It makes me proud that God chose not only me but also Wouter as well as Zakes Bantwini as a vessel of inspiration for every single person out there who has a dream and wants to see themselves at the highest level in whatever career they are in. This is actually a symbol of hope, especially for the average African child."

Woman empowerment

Speaking about what the award meant to her as a woman, Zikode says it meant not underestimating nor undermining oneself.

"It means, as a woman, never look down on yourself," Zikode said. "It means we've got power. We are amazing."

"Before winning this Grammy, I wrote the biggest song ever, the song that is now approaching one billion views on YouTube, so that alone should tell you how powerful we are as women."

She adds that with focus, it was possible.

"We just need to focus on ourselves, on our talent and make sure that we polish it enough," she continues. "We are not only coming to people with our beautiful faces but holding something in our hands like our brains."

Zakes Bantwini, Nomcebo Zikode, and Wouter Kellerman pose in the press room during the 65th GRAMMY Awards at Arena.

Destined to sing

While the hit song Zikode wrote, Jerusalema, subsequently led to legal battles, Zikode says her voice was a "blessing" God gave her.

"Some things are a blessing from God, and no one will ever take it. Someone will try, maybe, to dim your light, but when it's your time, no one will ever take your time or light because it's God."

She adds:

"I also believe that I won this Grammy because of God's grace. No one will ever be able to dim your light, and whenever someone is trying to dim your light, God will always try to open the way. That's why it's very important to put our faith in God when we have problems."

She gained international stardom through the dance challenge, which arose from the song, but it was not her first rodeo. Zikode featured in DJ Ganyani's Emazulwini and Mobi Dixon's Kobanini.

"I actually felt I wanted to pursue this when I was eight or nine years old. I felt like I'm talented, and people need to know about me," she says of her musical background. "Way back, I knew that I had to be a singer, if not, then an actor. I knew I had to be on TV because I grew up as a person who liked entertaining."

READ MORE | South Africa wins 10th Grammy – A look at the artists who brought the awards home

Celebrations all-round

Zikode says they are still planning how they will celebrate the momentous achievement and adds she is grateful to her collaborators and their supporters.

"I want to say thank you, thank you, thank you so much to Zakes and Wouter for giving the world this milestone. Together, we made it. And, thank you so much to our fans as well for supporting us."

Earlier in the week, the trio received congratulatory messages from politicians and local celebrities.

READ MORE |  South Africa celebrates Grammy win: 'Their names will forever be remembered as great African talent'

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