Nigerian afro-pop king, Damini Ebunoluwa Ogulu, popularly known as Burna Boy emerged as the winner of the 2021 Best International Act at BET Awards. This win came as a surprise to many, especially East Africans, as they constantly campaigned for Diamond Platnumz on BET Africa’s platforms and were banking on him to bring the award home.
Diamond Platnumz showed up for the event all geared in Maasai attire, representing the #swahilination as captioned on his social media platforms. Burna Boy however beat Tanzania’s Diamond Platnumz, Aya Nakamura (Mali), Wizkid (Nigeria) Youssoupha (Congolese) Emicida (Brazil), Headie One (Ghanian) and Young T & Bugsey (UK) and took home the award.
Diamond took to his socials to thank his fans for the love and support accorded to him, assuring them of more wins in the future.
“ Kupitia tuzo hii nimeona ni kias gani watanzania tuna umoja, upendo na kuthamini vya kwetu…Nawashkuru sana kila mmoja wenu kwa Upendo mkubwa mlionionesha…Nifaraja kuona Dunia inapotaja nchi zenye Wanamuziki bora Tanzania inatajwa, ni jambo la Kumshukuru Mungu….Na naamini wakati mwingine Tutaibeba…nitafarijika kesho na kesho kutwa msanii mwingine pia akiwa katika jambo la kuwakilisha Taifa tumpe nguvu kama mlionipa…. sisi ni #SwahiliNation sisi ni Taifa la Waswahili ”
“ Through this award, I have witnessed the unity and support of Tanzanians. I take this opportunity to thank every one of you for the immense love you’ve shown. It’s reassuring to see the world recognize Tanzania and what we do in the music industry. It’s something to thank God for. I believe that there’s a time when we shall win. I’ll be happy to see us similarly supporting other Tanzanian artists. We are #SwahiliNation. ” he wrote.
This makes Burna Boy the third-time winner of the Best International Act award since 2019. He recently won the 2021 Grammy award for Best Producer and songwriter, under the Best Global Music Album category alongside Sauti Sol and P Diddy for his Twice as Tall album. In 2017, Rayvanny became the first artist from Tanzania to win a BET Award, after being awarded “The BET Viewers Choice Best New International Act”. This made him the second artist to win a BET Award in East Africa, after Eddy Kenzo who had won the International Viewers Award in 2015.
The 2021 BET Awards took place on 27th June 2021, at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles with renowned actress Taraji P Henson as the Host.
Click here for the full list of the BET 2021 winners and nominees.