WINNERS: Mafikizolo on the red carpet of the South African Music Awards.

Afro-pop’s Mafikizolo have come out strong after their hiatus with several awards including Channel Os, the Metros and the South African Music Awards honouring them.

The duo will also be contesting the MTV Africa Music Awards (Mamas) and the BET Awards.

The Mamas will be held in Durban on June 7 and Mafikizolo hope to win some silverware.

“I think it is great they (Mamas) saw us and liked what we had to offer, enough to have us as nominees,” said group member Nhlanhla Nciza.

Nciza pointed out that she would not take the competition lightly.

“I think it is going to be a tough night. We are up against Nigerian artists in every category and if history is any-thing to go by we can agree that Nigerians really get support from their home and the neighbouring countries,” she said.

Nciza felt Mafikizolo’s product was good not only for South Africa, but even by international standards.

“I’d like to believe we did (so) well that you get people from as far as Nigeria who will sing along to some songs. I think it is important to have that cross-pollination in music because it helps us look beyond our own musicians. We support foreign musicians here so it is great when they support us out there. It would be great to have, say, a Nigerian fan say they like Davido, but they would rather vote for a South African act of their choice. This, in turn, will break the barriers of loyalty that are based on location,” she said.

To promote the Mamas, Mafikizolo will go to Nigeria on the Road to Mama initiative that seeks to build up hype around the ceremony.

“We are looking forward to it. We’ve been to Lagos several times so it has almost become our second home. They love Khona and sing along as much as they can, which is comforting. We will do some performances with Davido and other artists there,” she explained.

Speaking about Mafikizolo’s nomination at this year’s Black Entertainment Television (BET) awards, Nciza said this one was a big one for them.

“We have never been to LA and to go there and come back with the award would be amazing. We are honoured that not only has the album (Reunited) got continental success, it has also gone international,” she said.