Apartheid icon Makeba honoured at MTV Africa awards

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The Independent Culture

Home favourite Nigerian artist 2Face swooped two main awards as South Africa's legendary singer Miriam Makeba was posthumously honoured at the MTV Africa Music Awards on Saturday in Lagos.

South African anti-apartheid icon Makeba was posthumously awarded the "Mama Legend" prize after a career at the pinnacle of the continent's musical scene.

2Face took the Best Group and Best Male awards. Other awards were taken by artists from Kenya, Democratic Republic of Congo, Angola and South Africa.

American Eminem won the Best International artist prize.

Known as "Mama Africa", the Grammy-winning Makeba was the musical voice of the fight against whites-only apartheid rule.

"Makeba is a true legend and rightly celebrated throughout the world for her beautiful voice, fighting spirit and pioneering interpretation of African music," said Alex Okosi, managing director of MTV Networks Africa.

"Africa is the future. There is a unique tradition on the continent," said American rapper Chuck D presenting the Makeba award.

Makeba, who died aged 76 in November 2008 after a performance in Italy, is famed for hits such as "Pata Pata" and "The Click Song".

She won a Grammy award for Best Folk Recording with US singer Harry Belafonte in 1965. But her music was outlawed in her homeland after she appeared in an anti-apartheid film.

The awards ceremony in Nigeria's commercial capital featured American rapper Rick Ross, as well as a host of top African artists including Fally Ipupa from the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Africa's Teargas and Kenya's P-Unit.

Hosted by US hip-hop artist and actress Eve, the event is into its third year and also saw performances from leading Nigerian artists D-Banji and Banky-W.

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