The mega Kwaito group that dominated the 90s took center stage at Expo Centre, Nasrec on Saturday, 29 November when they were awarded the 2014 Channel O Africa Music Video Awards Special Recognition recipients.
Consisting of Junior Sokhela, the late Lebo Mathosa, Theo Nhlengethwa and Thembi Seete, the group released their smash hit single “It’s about Time” in 1993, which took the country by storm as they presented a unique sound that had a youthful edge. Clad with risqué dance moves and attire, the foursome were marred by criticism and outrage as many parents and feminist groups saw them as a bad influence on teens and their seductive moves were deemed as degrading to women. However, they chose to see their music and style as a liberating force.
Lebo and Thembi lead the vocals and rap, respectively, with strong voices that were as fierce as their personalities; Junior brought the Reggae infused element that balanced out perfectly with the high spirits of the ladies while Theo’s smooth voice was the final cherry on top that made girls tremble and weak at the knees. Together they became one of the most successful bands of the mid 1990s in South Africa and their success could not be stopped as the group managed to break into the international scene – a big achievement for any artist.
They were the first act signed under the now 20-year-old recording label powerhouse Kalawa Jazmee (back then known only as Kalawa) that has been instrumental in the development of the Kwaito genre in the country. A force to be reckoned with they created the popular and distinctive Kwaito dance move “Chop di Grass” – which pays homage to the men who mow the grass during the construction of highways.
At the peak of their career, with hit songs like “Thobela”, “It’s On” and “Digong Love” to mention a few, the group split in 1999, and the band members went on to pursue solo careers. Before her death in 2006 at age 29, Lebo had released the albums Dream (2000), Drama Queen (2004) and Lioness (2006). In 2014 Boom Shaka’s music can still be heard at parties and gatherings, proving that their sound will remain timeless.
“Boom Shaka played a pivotal role in the Kwaito music genre in the 1990s and they achieved a lot for an African group that comprised of musicians who were still in their teens. Their sound was a true example of originality and they were not scared to step away from the norm and break boundaries. It is only fitting that we, as a channel, recognise their contribution and influence to this thriving music industry,” says Nkateko Mabaso, Director of Local Interest Channels.
Boom Shaka follows in the footsteps of many of Africa’s most prominent and successful musicians including P-Square who were given the Special Recognition award in 2013, Oskido in 2012, D’Banj in 2011, K’NAAN in 2010, Brenda Fassie in 2009, George Lee in 2008, Oliver Mtukudzi in 2007, Zola in 2006, Hugh Masekela in 2005 as well as Fela Kuti in 2003.
The 2014 Channel O Africa Music Video Awards were anchored by Siyabonga “Scoop” Ngwekazi and Eku Edewor and broadcast LIVE from Expo Centre,
Nasrec in Soweto on Saturday, 29 November.
The Channel O Africa Music Video Awards are the only public voted annual music video awards show broadcast around the continent that exclusively feature African artists.