BIMA To Honour Abigail Khubeka and Yvonne Chaka Chaka

Musical legends Abigail Kubeka and Yvonne Chaka Chaka will be honoured with Lifetime awards at the first annual Basadi in Music Awards. These distinguished honours will be presented on Saturday, 15 October 2022 at the Gallagher Estate Convention Centre.

Abigail Kubeka

Mam’Abigail Kubeka was born in Orlando East, Soweto and displayed talent for singing at a young age, particularly indigenous jazz. Her career began in 1957 at age 16 after being noticed by Mam’Miriam Makeba who then invited her to join the Skylarks ensemble comprising Letta Mbulu and Mary Rabotaba.

As an understudy for Makeba in jazz opera King Kong, Kubeka toured Europe in the 1960s and accompanied musical giants Abdullah Ibrahim and Kippie Moeketsi in cabaret performances in the nightclubs of Hillbrow. She also performed in the award winning Jazzmakers and other productions performing to critical acclaim across venues globally.

Kubeka went on to develop a sterling career as an actress starring in stage productions, television shows and films which kept her star shining brighter. Moreover she has commanded large and intimate audiences including for the late former President Nelson Mandela and the late Queen Elizabeth II.

As a singer, songwriter, musical arranger and actress, she has contributed immensely to keeping musical traditions alive in particular following the destruction of Sophiatown.

Elysian Management


Yvonne Chaka Chaka

Born in Dobsonville, Soweto, Mam’ Yvonne “Chaka Chaka” Mhinga journeyed into music in 1985. A year, at 19, later she was discovered by Phil Hollis of Dephon Records who aided her in releasing her first album I’m in Love With the DJfeaturing The Stones. It was then that her meteoric rise to stardom truly began, and she went on to release Thank You Mr DJ and I’m Burning Up in 1986 and 1987 respectively.

Since then she has released numerous albums over her career which has spanned over 3 decades. These include Motherland; Cry for Freedom; Umqombothi; Sangoma; Bombani; Power of Africa; Kwenzenjani and Amazing Manwhich was a dedication to the late former President Nelson Mandela. Many of these albums earned platinum status and received several music awards.

(Photo by Oupa Bopape/Gallo Images via Getty Images)

As one of the few Black South African female acts to break through outside South African borders, she earned herself the name “The Princess of Africa”, a name she also uses for her foundation which champions change in health and education for African and South American communities. This world class musician known for her originality and African flavour also became a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Children’s Fund and Roll Back Malaria Partnership to End Malaria, the largest global platform for coordinated action towards a world free from malaria.

The Basadi in Music Awards, to be hosted by Nomuzi Mabena and Anele Zondo, will present awards across twenty categories as voted by the public. The awards are themed “tiaras, ballgowns and sneakers” and “suits and sneakers” for female and male attendees respectively. Tickets can be bought through www.webtickets.co.za at R400 for General tickets, R650 for Golden Circle tickets and R1000 for VIP tickets.

“As Destination Joburg, we’re thrilled and honoured to be partnering with and supporting the inaugural BIMA Lifetime Awards,” says Lumka Dlomo (Destination Marketing Joburg Tourism). 

“In anticipation of regional and domestic visitors who are expected to travel to Johannesburg to attend the award ceremony, hosting the event in Joburg will boost our local economy and help reignite the City’s tourism and creative industries which have been hard so hit by the COVID-19 global pandemic over the past two years.  This includes so many sectors – from accommodation establishments and tourist attractions to restaurants, shopping and transport to mention but a few,” explains Dlomo.

“Moreover, our support aligns perfectly with our strategic objective of positioning Johannesburg as a diverse and vibrant, international leisure and lifestyle destination – a phenomenal hub for music, fashion and the arts.  It’s a prime opportunity to promote our city to festivalgoers and remind them that there is SO much more to Joburg than business!”

SAMPRA Chief Marketing Officer Ms. Tiyani Maluleke said: “Congratulations to the cradle and beacon of all women in our industry. We see you, Mama Africa. We see you, Mama Abigail Kubeka.  As SAMPRA, we are so proud to be a sponsor of a category as prestigious as you both are. What a momentous occasion!”

BIMA CEO Hloni Modise-Matau: “One cannot dispute the contribution that Mam’Abigail and Mam’Yvonne have made to the music industry. They have changed history with their crafts and broken through glass ceilings so that women in music today are able to soar. We are honoured to be presenting them with the Lifetime awards because their influence in evolving musical genres ensures that today we are able to enjoy cultural diversity through music.”

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*press release

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