The Grammys 2024: Tyla beats Burna Boy and Davido, intensifying SA-Nigeria rivalry

South African singer Tyla's victory at the Grammys, beating four Nigerian nominees, has fuelled the rivalry between the two countries

South African singer Tyla’s victory at the Grammys, beating four Nigerian nominees, has fuelled the rivalry between the two countries as they prepare to face off in a crunch football match on Wednesday.

“South Africa won today but Nigeria will win on Wednesday where it matters most” one user wrote on X.

Tyla won for her song Water in the Best African Music Performance, over Davido, Ayra Starr and Burna Boy.

Nigerians have called on their national team, the Super Eagles, to avenge them.

They play South Africa in the 2023 AFCON semi-finals.

“No Nigerian won a Grammy, but a South African won. This is Nigerians being generous so that when we win them in AFCON, they will have something to banter with,” another user wrote on X.

This year saw the introduction of an award for the Best African Music Performance – a move widely welcomed on the continent despite some criticism that it was long overdue.

Tyla was the first winner and was joyous as she accepted the award on Sunday (4 February) night.

“This is crazy! I never thought I’d say I won a Grammy at 22 years old!” she exclaimed.

  • Singer Tyla’s racial identity sparks heated culture war
  • Africa Live: Updates on this and other stories from the continent

Nigerian Afrobeats giant Burna Boy was nominated in four categories but did not walk away with a single golden gramophone.

However, his spellbinding performance at the award ceremony amazed the audience.

Nigerian singer Billy O told the BBC he was disappointed Nigerian singers did not win the award, saying this showed a lack of real appreciation for Afrobeats and Afro RnB by the voters.

“Despite dominating in Africa, I think we are not well appreciated when it comes to Grammys,” he said.

Despite the fierce rivalry between Nigeria and South Africa, three-time Grammy nominee Davido congratulated Tyla on X and told her to “keep soaring”.

South Africa was also represented by comedian Trevor Noah, who was at the helm of the prestigious award ceremony he hosted for a fourth time.

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