Tyla Laura Seethal, or Tyla as she is more commonly known, scooped up her first Grammy Award on the 5th of February at the 2024 Grammy Awards. The 22 year old picked up the Grammy Award for the Best African Music Performance for her hit-song Water. The song, which has gone viral has also inspired its own dance and has become the backing track to many TikTok videos too. The music video has had over 118 million views on YouTube and has become a global phenomenon spurred on by social media.

Tyla beat out a number of very well-known African artists to take home the coveted award, including Nigerian mega-stars Burna Boy and Davido, as well as Olamide, Asake, Ayra Starr and South African record producer, Musa Keys. The category, in which Tyla was nominated and won, is a new award category that was included for the first time in 2024. Outside of Musa Keys who was nominated in the same category as Tyla, they weren’t the only South Africans to receive nominations. Trevor Noah, who was the host of the main awards ceremony, was also nominated for the Best Comedy Album award, which went to Dave Chappelle. Alongside its newly minted Grammy award, ‘Water’ also made it to the number 7 slot on the prestigious Billboard Hot 100 list. This made Tyla the youngest South African solo artist to make the Billboard Hot 100 list, as well as the first South African to feature since Hugh Masekela’s 1968 hit, Grazing in the Grass.

The timing of South Africa’s Grammy win over Nigerian artists had sparked even more intense rivalry over Wednesday’s African Cup of Nation’s Semi-Final where Bafana Bafana took on the tournament favourites the Nigerian Super Eagles in Ivory Coast. It was hoped that South Africa could keep up its winning streak across all categories and sports. South African musicians have had a number of Grammy nominations and wins over the years, starting with a win in 1988 for the Ladysmith Black Mambazo for their song, Shaka Zulu. The Ladysmith Black Mambazo has won five times over the years and has been nominated 16 times. Over the last few years we’ve seen Black Coffee win for Best Dance/Electronic album in 2022, and last year Zakes Bantwini, Wouter Kellerman and Nomcebo Zikode won an award for Best Global Music performance.