College of Humanities

UKZN Music Alumnus Wins Prestigious Grammy Award

South African House musician, Mr Zakhele Madida known onstage as Zakes Bantwini, recently won his first Grammy award.

He shares the award with flautist, Wouter Kellerman, and vocalist, Nomcebo Zikode. The trio won the Best Global Music Performance award for their hit Bayethe at the 65th annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, California.

The song, which is a fusion of maskandi, Afro-pop and dance music, was released in 2022.

Madida thanked all those who supported him on his journey and praised God for the win. ‘It’s difficult to find the words to truly express how this moment feels and what it means. This is the most important awards show in the world and for us to be recognised on such a big stage means we’re doing something right,’ he said. ‘I’m going to be Zakes Bantwini the Grammy Award winner for the rest of my life. That’s insane! It’s something I could’ve never imagined growing up,’ he said.

Madida said winning an award at a prestigious ceremony like the Grammys showed that anything was possible. ‘Every dream is valid. For every child in a ghetto, in a village, or studying music at a university like my alma mater, UKZN: just know it’s possible.’