SOUTH AFRICA-BASED Zimbabwean songstress Charmaine Shamiso Mapambiro, popularly known as Sha Sha, in the showbiz industry has written her own piece of history by becoming the first local artiste to win the prestigious 2020 BET Viewer’s Choice: Best New International Act award at a ceremony held virtually in Los Angeles, USA on Sunday.
BY WINSTONE ANTONIO
The BET awards are used to honour and celebrate excellence by people of African origin in entertainment and sports, courtesy of the Black Entertainment Television, a prominent television network targeting African-American audiences in the US.
The Bulawayo-born singer proved to be the people’s choice as she amassed more votes ahead of Rema from Nigeria, Celeste from the United Kingdom, Young T and Bugsey from the United Kingdom, Hatik and Stacy from France.
The Amapiano star thanked those who voted for her on Twitter.
“What just happened!!! A BET thank you! My people back home, all over the world man,” she posted.
Social media platforms went abuzz with congratulatory messages while stakeholders told NewsDay Life & Style that Sha Sha had shown that Zimbabwe had talent.
National Arts Council of Zimbabwe director Nicholas Moyo in a statement said Sha Sha’s award was recognition of her talent and amazing vocal ability.
“Sha Sha’s sincerity and passionate desire to excel have borne such fruitful results as she kept her dedication firm and did not budge or give up at any time despite various challenges she faced in her artistic journey which today have earned her deserved global recognition, ” he said.
Arts promoter Benjamin Nyandoro said Sha Sha deserved the victory and urged Zimbabweans to embrace local talent.
“Congratulations to Sha Sha, she has confirmed beyond doubt that she deserved it. It also goes without saying (sic) the most appreciated role by South Africa in her journey this far and to also call upon Zimbabwe to do more in embracing local talent. Zimbabwe is celebrating, Africa is celebrating,” he said.
Event specialist and music critic Marshall Shonhai said: “This BET award is important not just for Sha Sha herself, but for the whole country and mostly for the local artistes who are trying to break onto the international scene with very little luck.”
According to Sha Sha, her music journey had not been that rosy having clashed with her parents over her career choice as they wanted her to be a nurse. She started off as a receptionist then became a waitress to make ends meet before getting a breakthrough in her career when she was hooked to veteran singer-cum-producer, Audius Mtawarira, under whose tutelage she was catapulted to fame.