Grammy award-winning artist, Nomcebo Zikode, is one of the most booked artists in the country. She’s always jet-setting to some international destination to perform or is in back-to-back interviews as she lives out her dream.
The 38-year-old songwriter was honoured at the weekend alongside her “Bayethe” collaborators Zakes Bantwini and Wouter Kellerman at the African Grammy winners gala dinner held at the Four Seasons Hotel in Johannesburg.
The gala dinner came after Zikode had a home-welcoming ceremony hosted by the Durban Creative Industry and the eThekwini Municipality at the King Shaka International Airport.
Her Grammy award is a historic one and not only because it’s her first but also because she is the second South African female to win the prestigious international award, following in Miriam Makeba’s footsteps, who won a Grammy in 1966.
Zikode shared with IOL Entertainment that she stays “grounded” by remaining humble, maybe a bit too much at times, but she is grateful for that trait.
“I’m grateful that I’m humble, that God made me like this because I believe that I am receiving all these blessings because of being humble. If maybe I wasn’t humble, I wasn't going to be receiving all these blessings because I believe that God also does check your heart.”
While the public may recognise her global stardom, Zikode doesn’t refer to herself as “famous” and she often gets reminded by fans shouting her name that, actually, she is a star.
A superstar’s rise to the top wasn’t without hardship from her legal battle against record label Open Mic Production over royalties for the global hit “Jerusalema” to “Bayethe” being taken down from the streaming platform Spotify.
“To tell you the honest truth, I was heartbroken, heartbroken by people who actually supposed to embrace me and have nasty comments to say, ahh Nomcebo, you didn’t write this song.
“This song we used to play it a long time ago in our churches, but not getting the facts right.”
“If you check, I really wrote the song. I’m talking about the lyrics. I’m talking about the melody. Of course, there have been other ‘Jerusalema's’ out there across the world and even here at home. And there is my ‘Jerusalema’, this is something really new.
“I felt like I don't know who is behind this but other people really try so hard to put you down.
“What I have done for South Africa and the world is something that people should be embracing and be proud of.
“The song, in terms of streams, has reached half a billion, even more than that, which is something rare. There’s no song that has been as successful as it in the country.”
Throughout her experience with Open Mic, Zikode put her trust in her faith and it has gotten her far.
“I never thought I would receive a Grammy but look where I am. I’m travelling the world to new places”.
Her supporters, locally and internationally, is where Zikode has placed her focus on and not on the negativity.
“I’m so thankful for the support of the South Africans, those who support me. I’m thankful, humbled, and also, I’m thankful to people overseas, around the world, who support my music. It makes me see that God knows his plans.”
Zikode’s career, with her husband Selwyn Fraser as her manager, sees her travelling the world continuously. A few days back in South Africa, they are already headed out.
As someone who is always travelling across the world, Zikode said to relax and unwind, she turns to TV but nothing serious she adds. Shows that tickle her funny bone include Moja Love’s “Rea Tsotella” or “Our Perfect Wedding”.
“I must say Tik Tok is doing the most, right, and that’s one thing that does help me relax.”
Her fans are longing for new music from Zikode and she understands their plea for more of her motivational lyrics.
Although she may be one of the busiest and hardest working artists, rest assured she is busy working on giving her loyal supporters what they want.