Mzansi Celebs

Zakes Bantwini speaks on His Grammy Nomination, Retirement, And Last Album

Award-winning musician, producer, and businessman Zakhele Madida, professionally known as Zakes Bantwini, is beaming with pride after bagging his first Grammy nomination.

The Osama hitmaker who has been in the industry for more than 15 years, has undoubtedly had the best year as he continues to receive the recognition he deserves, and we are here for it.

Nominations for the 65th installment of the awards were announced last night, with Zakes scoring a nod alongside internationally recognized vocalists Nomcebo Zikode, and Wouter Kellerman.

The trio is nominated under the Best Global Performance category for the song Bayethe. In an exclusive interview with ZAlebs, the SAMA award-winning musician told ZAlebs is delighted about his nomination.

“I heard the news while I was out at a restaurant having dinner with friends. I was so happy and called everybody to share this moment with me. I made so much noise and I am sure some of the customers in that restaurant thought I was crazy but, I was excited that I am nominated at the Grammy’s. This is the biggest accolade I could ever get,” he says.

As far as the musician is concerned, this nomination means he is among the best to have done it and is among the best to have come out of this country. “It means everything, shout out to Nomcebo Zikode and Wouter. It means I am in a good direction with my music career and I am dope,” says Zakes adding that this nomination is his highlight for the year.

Zakes who recently called out the South African Music Awards (SAMAs) organizers and judges for dropping the ball again this year, says he did not see the Grammy nomination coming.

“I try by all means to never expect anything when it comes to the awards in SA because I have never had a good experience or luck with them. I feel like I have been snubbed so many times in SA, so awards are some of the things that I don’t look forward to. If you had asked me before, I would have told you that was expecting a nomination from the MTV EMAs, BET Awards and so many awards. So, the Grammy was one of those things that I doubted but shout out to Nomcebo and Wouter who worked hard on this record. It’s a collaborated effort and all credit needs to be given to everybody,” says Zakes.

The musician who is set to retire from producing music for himself says he is currently cooking up a storm in the studio as he is working on his final body of work. “I am still working on my last album,” he assures his fans.

Zakes adds that he is not retiring from the music scene but he will stop producing music under his name ” I will probably still be producing and writing music for other artists, but I am still working on my last offering as Zakes Bantwini,” he adds.

Osama Hitmaker says his last album is titled Abantu, and it will be one of the books because it came right when he was at the peak of his career.

Zakes has announced that he will be venturing into other business ventures during his retirement “I am looking forward to focusing on my business both in Cape Town and Durban. I have other business interests taking a toll on me and I will be spending more time with my family,” he explains.

The musician says his last offering will be released on the 24th of March 2023 and he is working on features that mean a lot to him.

He says his album will feature with up and coming musicians because he loves working with talented artists.

“It’s my last album and I have to pull out all the stops to put out the best album ever, I want it to be the best music offering I have ever done. I am going deep into my creative space and asking God to guide me in some of these things. This album means a lot to me because it is what I have done in my entire career. After 15 or 30 years when people mention Zakes Bantwini’s last album, I want to go to this one and say that I put out some beautiful music. I want to be proud of it after many years,” he explains.

Zakes has revealed that he will be touring to promote his album next year and then calling it quits after two years.

Congratulations to the musician.


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