Nigerian-born artist Burna Boy has become the first African to win the BET award for Best International Act for two years in a row. In his acceptance speech at the Los Angeles entertainment awards ceremony on Sunday evening 28 June, the artist touched on how Africa should be dominating every space.
“Thank you very much BET, second time in a row, I appreciate it,” Burna Boy said.
“I just want to take this opportunity to say that sometime around 1835, there was a mission to turn Africa and the nation of Africa into the dominating nation.
“Now is the time to return and go back to the royalty that we were.
“In order for black lives to matter, Africa must matter.”
Burna Boy’s comment on #BlackLivesMatter movement referred in particular to the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis in May, an event which has led to protests spread throughout the world.
Comedian Amanda Seales hosted the 20th BET Awards at the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles.
The event aired simultaneously on CBS and Viacom CBS’ networks, including BET and BET Her. The awards were broadcast on BET Africa (DStv Channel 129) at 02:00 Central Africa Time on Monday 29 June.
The show kicked off with Seales addressing racism and the #BLM protests. Many artists also addressed the #BlackLivesMatter protests and police violence.
Alicia Keys performed Perfect Way To Die in tribute to the movement. A list of the names of black men and women killed by police while in custody appeared as words written on the pavement of the empty street she sang on.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Beyoncé was awarded the Humanitarian Award which she dedicated to the #BlackLivesMatter protesters.
“Your voices are being heard and you’re proving to our ancestors that their struggles were not in vain,” she said.
Zimbabwe-born artist Sha Sha took home the Best International Act award.
“I am super excited, I can’t believe I’ve just won this award. First of all, I want to thank God, my family, my people back home in Zimbabwe and South Africa, my team and everyone else. You guys have been amazing and this is for you!” the South African-based artist said.
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Burna Boy (Nigeria)
Sha Sha (Zimbabwe)