The Sunday News
Bruce Ndlovu, Sunday Life Reporter
THIS year’s South Africa Music Awards might have been a virtual affair but Berita Khumalo has admitted to being a bundle of nerves when she won her first ever gong at the prestigious ceremony, with the award further vindication of her decision to leave a major label and become a solo artiste.
Khumalo won a SAMA gong in the Rest of Africa category, beating African music heavyweights Davido, Wizkid, fellow Zimbabwean Buffalo Souljah and Sauti Sol.
In an interview with South African publication Glamour, Khumalo revealed that she had also been nervous on the night of an award ceremony that was conducted virtually due to Covid-19 restrictions currently in place in South Africa and many other countries.
“I am grateful for the award. I was home glued to my phone watching the awards on SABC1 like everybody else. When they called my category, I closed my eyes and heard my name. It was a victorious moment,” she said.
The songbird said part of the album’s success could be attributed to the fact that for the first time in her career, she had released an album as a fully independent artiste. Khumalo released her album, Songs in the Key of Love last year under her own record label, Assali Music
“When I was making my fourth studio album – Songs in The Key of Love, I was able to take full ownership of the project due to all the lessons from the previous projects. The journey to the album began with the independent production and release of Ndicel’ikiss which I co-wrote and co-produced in January 2019 and released in February 2019 to great success.
Ndicel’ikiss went on to become a top 40 radio song on South African radio and a sing-along at many music concerts and festivals. In January 2020, I put together a key team with whom I travelled to Cape Town for an album working retreat. Little did I know that soon after the album release in February the world would go into a lockdown.”
Khumalo, who was born in Zimbabwe, also gave praise to Kalawa boss, Oskido, who remixed one of her first songs, Thandolwethu, which went on to be her first smash hit.
“I released my album and went back to class. Slowly Thandolwethu the leading single gained traction on radio and around that time I was very fortunate to meet Oskido who remixed the song and introduced me to the rest of South Africa. I later learnt the importance of a hit in our industry and I am very fortunate to have had my first one from my initial introduction to the music scene.”