UMMUSI Maimane
Yvonne Chaka Chaka is to receive “an unexpected honour” at the Black Entertainment Television (BET) Awards in Los Angeles.

The South African singer will be honoured with the 2017 BET International Global Good Star and Power award with Somali-Canadian social activist Ilwad Elman.

Chaka Chaka said: “I must say I never anticipated this BET award. I never thought I would get it because they (BET) play a very different genre of music than mine. But I am so extremely humbled”.

The singer’s music has turned her into a world- renowned artist who is inspired by everything she sees and witnesses.

“My music is inspired by what happens around me when I travel - the good and the bad, the joys and the successes.

“I am lucky to be able to articulate those things through music and therefore connect with everyone. When I became the first African woman to be awarded the World Economic Forum’s crystal award, it was a real big deal in the music industry.

“For me to receive this award is a great encouragement. To know that while I was going about my business, someone was watching, following and appreciating my work.”

The Umqombothi hitmaker sees this year as a great year for her so far, with the upcoming award to add to the Crans Montana award she received this year in Morocco.

“To top up all the good things that have happened thus far, next week I am also releasing my new album titled Keep Looking at Me.

“I have been in the studio for the past couple of months, working with Themba, my son, and have collaborated with artists such as Ali Kiba from Tanzania, Ntsiki Mazwai and Betrita, among others.”

Besides her usual melodies, Chaka Chaka has experimented with new sounds on the album.

She was in Namibia this week to shoot a video.

“I worked with some disabled kids from there, who are absolutely amazing singers. The album is done and dusted. I must say the journey of making it has been incredible.”

Chaka Chaka has also been an advocate of good works in Africa. She has served as a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations Children’s Fund and has partnered with Roll Back Malaria for the past 12 years. She also started the Princess of Africa Foundation, which aims to carry out community and advocacy work.

“I am a musician first before any of the humanitarian work I do. But I think those things go hand in hand. If I was not a musician, the whole world would not have known Yvonne Machaka. So it all started with my music to be where I am today.”

Fashion is always the talk of any awards. Chaka Chaka said that no matter how she was dressed she would fly the African flag high.

“I am a very simple and calm person and will also be me in all that I wear.”