Another Historic Night For African Music: Nigeria’s ‘Tems’ Wins Big

Chanel Retief
Published 1 month ago
65th GRAMMY Awards – Red Carpet
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 05: Tems attends the 65th GRAMMY Awards on February 05, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Lester Cohen/Getty Images for The Recording Academy)


Heading into the 65th Grammy Awards yesterday, Africa already celebrated the nine artists who had been nominated for the prestigious music awards. However, the Arena in Los Angeles saw four artists take home a Grammy in their respective categories which had the continent continuing the celebrations last night.

Key Facts

By far the biggest buzz on social media has been for 27-year-old Nigerian singer Tems who won a Grammy Award in the Best Melodic Rap Performance category for her contribution to the hit song Wait for U – a collaboration of musicians Future and Drake. This win has made her the second female artist from Nigeria to win the award.

(Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

“It’s incredible,” Temilade “Tems” Openiyi told Rolling Stone Magazine last night. “I get to work with people that five years ago were on my playlist. I was jamming to them and now I am working with them…and I feel like this is only the beginning.”

Openiyi has quite the busy year as the singer has also just been nominated for the 2023 Oscars for co-writing Lift Me Up, one of the songs in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.

South African artists Zakes Bantwini, Nomcebo Zikode and Wouter Kellerman took home a Grammy for Best Global Music Performance for their collaboration Bayethe.

“I think the beautiful story is we met with Wouter chatting about this at the South African Music Awards,” Bantwini said after winning the Grammy about how he met Kellerman at the South African Music Awards. “So we met at the awards in South Africa talking about this particular moment, and today we’re at the Grammys. Come on!”

“This award is not just for us, it’s for everyone back home,” Bantwini said in a statement. “This moment is testament to the fact that our dreams are valid and we can accomplish anything we set our minds on.

“I want every young kid in the ghetto in South Africa to dream big and believe that we deserve to be recognized on the biggest stages in the world.”

Big Night For Africa

The awards were hosted by South African comedian and former The Daily Show host, South Africa’s Trevor Noah for the second time (the first time being in 2022).

Although not every African musician won in their category but in total the artists presented made up 11 nominations at the Grammys this year.

Artist CountryCategory Result
Temilade “Tems” Openiyi
NigeriaBest Melodic Rap Performance: “WAIT FOR U” — Future featuring Drake & TemsWon
Temilade “Tems” OpeniyiNigeriaRap Song: “WAIT FOR U” — Future featuring Drake & TemsNominated
Temilade “Tems” OpeniyiNigeriaAlbum of The Year: Beyonce’s Renaissance (As a featured artist)Nominated
Damini Ebunoluwa Ogulu- Burna BoyNigeriaBest Global Music Album: Love, DaminiNominated
Damini Ebunoluwa Ogulu- Burna BoyNigeriaGlobal Music Performance:Last LastNominated
Angélique KidjoBeninBest Global Music Album: Queen of ShebaNominated
Angélique KidjoBeninBest Song Written for Visual Media: The Woman King.Nominated
Edrisah Musuuza-Eddy KenzoUgandaBest Global Performance: Gimme LoveNominated
Rocky DawuniGhanaBest Global Performance: Featuring Blvk H3ro – Neva Bow DownNominated
Wouter KellermanSouth AfricaBest Global Music Performance Bayethe by Wouter Kellerman, Zakes Bantwini and Nomcebo ZikodeWon
Nomcebo ZikodeSouth AfricaBest Global Music Performance Bayethe by Wouter Kellerman, Zakes Bantwini and Nomcebo ZikodeWon
Zakes BantwiniSouth AfricaBest Global Music Performance Bayethe by Wouter Kellerman, Zakes Bantwini and Nomcebo ZikodeWon