South African music legend Yvonne Chaka Chaka will be honored later this month with BET’s “International Global Good Power Award.”
Organizers say the award honors individuals championing endeavors that positively impact change and heighten awareness in different parts of the world.
Chaka Chaka is being recognized for using her stellar celebrity platform to promote causes related to health and the well-being of many on the African continent, according to BET.com.
Fondly referred to as the “Princess of Africa,” Chaka Chaka used her music to great effect during the dark days of Apartheid, helping to inspire leaders of the anti-Apartheid struggle such as Nelson Mandela in their fight for the liberation of South Africa.
In recent times, however, the “Umqombothi” singer has dedicated her time and resources to several worthy humanitarian efforts on the continent.
Watch Chaka Chaka’s “Umqombothi’s here:
Through her Princess of Africa Foundation, for example, Chaka Chaka works to eradicate the effects of malaria, tuberculosis, and HIV by obtaining medication, including malaria vaccines and mosquito bed nets, to underserved communities in Africa. The foundation also educates citizens on malaria treatment and prevention and works to promote literacy.
Ahead of the award ceremony, Chaka Chaka told South African website Times Live that she was deeply humbled by the honor.
“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 was nominated, I was deeply humbled because they were recognizing me for respecting my talent and the responsibility that came with it.
“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 on the continent, but it was only because people already knew who Yvonne Chaka Chaka was that I got the opportunity,” she said.
Other honorees at the award show will include Somali human rights activist Ilwad Elman and American hip-hop artist Chance the Rapper.
Elman works tirelessly to disarm and disengage child soldiers, saving them from their exploited existence at the hands of warlords who often use them as cannon fodder.
She also runs a program called “Sister Somalia” that provides safe houses for female victims of physical and sexual assault, including rape and torture.
Chance the Rapper, on the other hand, is a talented singer-songwriter and philanthropist who rose to popularity with his chart-topping and multi-award-winning mixtapes “Acid Rap” and “Coloring Book.”
He has consistently used his musical platform to support a number of educational, social, and political initiatives that have positively impacted both local and national communities.
Recently, he pledged to donate the sum of $1 million to underfunded public schools in his home town of Chicago. Chance has also lent his voice to a campaign against gun violence and an initiative to promote racial justice among young men of color.
Past winners of the award include U.S.-born Senegalese singer and philanthropist Akon for his Lighting Africa initiative and Tanzanian supermodel Millen Magese for her work in improving maternal and women health as well as educating African girls on self-care through her Millen Magese Foundation.
The 2017 BET awards will be held June 29th with Leslie Jones as the host.