Sho Madjozi hailed for putting Xitsonga on the international map

SABC News Sho Madjozi - Sho Madjozi hailed for putting Xitsonga on the international map

The phrase “music is a universal language” is resonating with a little village of Shirley in Elim, Limpopo. This is after Shirley-born South African pop musician Sho Madjozi scooped the Best New International Act at the BET Awards in Los Angeles, USA, on Sunday.

Sho Madjozi, real name Maya Wagerif, has been hailed by her family and residents of Shirley for her role in placing the Xitsonga language on the international map.

Sho Madjozi’s energy-charged 75-year-old grandmother Christina Phaweni showed off her dance moves. She boasts that her genes are behind her granddaughter fame and talent.

“She gets her energy and dance skills from me. I taught her from an early age … She may be half white, but she said she wants to live like a traditional Tsonga person.”

Phaweni says she knitted Madjozi’s first xibelani when she was just a few years old. This is the same pink xibelani that Madjozi still wraps around her neck when she performs.

Her grandmother says she is very proud of her.

“I am extremely happy and proud of her. Her talent is a blessing to us. I feel fortunate and seeing the whole country rejoicing in her achievements makes us even happy.”

Phaweni says Madjozi has always shown an interest to learn more about the Tsonga ways of living.

“She is a proud Tsonga. She is obsessed with the language and tradition. She eats everything we eat from traditional veggies to mopani worms; even her Swedish father eats it.”

Residents of Shirley village have welcomed Madjozi’s efforts in promoting the Xitsonga language. They have expressed their love and happiness.

“We are not surprised to see her dancing with a xibelani because she grew up dancing with her grandmother. It is a challenge for us when we see a white person dancing with a xibelani and we are proud that it is not just a white person, but a white person from Shirley.”

Limpopo department of Arts and Culture says the province will be hosting a party to celebrate Sho Madjozi’s success.

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