South African rhythm continues to move the world with a Grammy nod


By Mduduzi Malinga


Zakes Bantwini and Nomcebo Zikode have been nominated for their first Grammy’s for Best Global Music Performance. The two were nominated alongside South African producer and composer, Wouter Kellerman for his recent single ‘Bayethe’.


The Grammy Award (stylised as GRAMMY; originally called Gramophone Award), or just Grammy, is an award presented by the Recording Academy to recognise “Outstanding Achievement in the music industry” of the United States.


The 65th annual Grammy Awards will take place at the Arena in Los Angeles on February 5, 2023, a celebration of dedicated artists, producers, and content creators, who have made major contributions to the music industry.


The first Grammy ceremony was hosted in 1959 and has since become one of the most prestigious music accolades in the world. The Award is given for music released in the USA, regardless of country of origin or genre, released between, 1st of October of a particular year to the 30th of September the following year.


In addition, people who want to be considered for an award need to apply to NARAS (the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences), the agency tasked with running the awards. Awards are voted for by thousands of NARAS members, who are all musicians, music technicians, producers, or music industry leaders (managers or agents).


The multi-award-winning DJ, musician, producer and businessman Zakhele Madida, better known as Zakes Bantwini, recently announced his retirement from music after 15 years, and he has confirmed his final studio album, titled ”Abantu“, is set for release soon, setting the tone for one of the most remarkable musicians to come out of this country.


Nomcebo Nothule Zikode, is a singer and songwriter, born in Hammarsdale. Known for her hit song Jerusalema with musician and record producer Kgaogelo Moagi, popularly known as Master KG. In 2020, in the midst of the pandemic the song Jerusalema had 418 million views on Tik Tok while #JerusalemaChallenge has nearly 200 million views making it the highest-earning song globally. The music video of the song has generated half a billion views on YouTube.


Wouter Kellerman is a Grammy Award-winning South African flautist, producer and composer who won his first Grammy in 2014. “It’s an amazing privilege. It’s my fourth nomination, but it never gets old, what makes this one even more special is that Zakes and Nomcebo are with me and it’s all South African.” Said Wouter Kellerman, Flautist.


“During the time we were composing the song, I was in a better space, which I would credit to all the travelling I had been doing the past few months around the world. Having been exposed to different places, and countries, boosted the lyrics behind the song.” Said Nomcebo Zikode.


The Award is an honour presented to recording artists for influential music from around the globe.



The pair are competing with songs by Nigerian singer, songwriter and producer, Burna Boy, global R& B artist Matt B, , Pakistani singer, songwriter and producer Arooj Aftab, and British American sitar player and producer, to name a few, in the Best Global Music Performance category.



Some of South Africa’s wins at the Grammy’s over the years:


  • Ladysmith Black Mambazo (1987-2004-2008-2013-2017)
  • The Soweto Gospel Choir (2006-2007-2010)
  • Miriam Makeba (1965)
  • Lebo M (Morake) (1994)
  • Wouter Kellerman (2014)
  • Robert “Mutt” Lange (1991-1995-1998-1999-2015)
  • Phil Ramone (1964-1965-1969-1975-1978-1979-1980-1983-1994-2001-2004-2005-2002-2005-2006-2011)
  • Dave Matthews (1997-2004)
  • Eddie Kramer (2004-2002-1999)
  • Trevor Rabin (1984)
  • Black Coffee (2022)

Brand South Africa congratulates Zakes Bantwini, Nomcebo Zikode, and Wouter Kellerman for the nomination. Keep inspiring and raising the South African flag so high! Bring that Grammy home!