Global Good Award
BET announced on Tuesday evening that legendary South African musician Yvonne Chaka Chaka would be honoured with the 2017 BET International Global Good Star and Power award for her ferocious fight for the health and well-being of Africans and people across the world, as she uses her stellar celebrity platform for their cause.
In an exclusive interview with TshisaLIVE,the52-year-old songstress admitted that she was initially shocked when she heard the news but is “deeply humbled” to be recognised by a brand that she loves.
“I love BET, I watch their channels but I always thought it was more for the young people. So when I was told that I am nominated, I was deeply humbled because they are recognising me for respecting my talent and the responsibility it comes with it,” she said.Yvonne added that she remembers watching US musician Chaka Khan being honoured in 2013 and that she never imagined she would one day join that list.
“Knowing the power of my talent helped me to be able to help people. Most of my work to advocate for education and good health has been done in the continent, but it was only because people already knew who Yvonne Chaka Chaka was that I got the opportunity,” she said.
The musician said she hoped young artists learn that pursuing your dreams and knowing that your talent can help change other people’s lives is rewarding.
Her songs became increasingly personal making her music a movement in itself. She has received dozens of South African music awards including SAMA, KORA, OKTY and Autumn Harvest Award.
Dubbed the Princess of Africa, she has motivated millions and has performed for international luminaries including President Nelson Mandela, President Bill Clinton, Queen Elizabeth, Michael Jackson and more.
Human rights activist Ilwad Elman will also be honoured for her unfaltering fight against the extreme violence and abuse plaguing women and children in the decades long war in her native Somalia.
The atrocities are committed by all warring parties, authorities and warlords alike. Yet, despite harassment and threats against her own life and security, she and her mother continue the work of her late father, Elman Ali Ahmed, “the Somali Father of Peace, who was assassinated 20 years ago for his work.
Ilwad Elman is the Director at the Elman Peace and Human Rights Centre, named for her father and founded by her mother. There, she works tirelessly to disarm and disengage children, thereby saving them from their exploited existence at the hands of warlords who use them as guards and soldiers.