It was a proud moment for South African singing sensation Shashika Mooruth as she bagged the Lifetime Achievement award at the coveted South African Music Awards last week.
Mooruth who resides in Mumbai currently flew in for this special awards evening that was held at Sun City and was broadcasted live on SABC 1 a local national channel in South Africa. The star-studded event was presented by Somizi Mhlongo, Dineo Ranaka and Mpho Pops.
President Cyril Ramaphosa did not only attend the ceremony but stole the show when he took to the stage for the opening and to also hand the lifetime achievement awards of the night.
Watch as South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa honors Mooruth with her award
Widely traveled to more than twenty-five countries, her voice with its unique timbre is her passport to much acclaim. She has had the honor of performing for a select audience at the United Nations in May 2006 receiving overwhelming applause.
The late world-renowned Pakistani singer and Grammy winner Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan Saheb heard her sing in Mumbai and was all praise for her talent and voice which he described as ‘steeped in soul and emotion’.
Mooruth will be the first vocalist of South African of Indian origin to receive the award as producer, songwriter and recording artist.
“When the president was announced at the awards, I thought to myself, ‘Wow, he is here,’ but I expected him to leave after a while.
“When it got to my award, he came on stage and that’s when it hit me, I was going to be awarded by our own president,” said Mooruth, who lives in India.
“I won’t say I was nervous, rather I was excited to meet him and while walking on stage, it was as though the Lord was calling so the speech I had mentally prepared in my mind was wasted.
“Instead I requested to sing for him and my music had the words ‘sa’ and ‘ma’, which I thought was suitable for the occasion and I did a small skit; people loved it. The artists were on their feet singing along, the president was tapping his feet”
The 54-year-old said she must have sang the same piece about 10 times the next day.
“Everywhere I went people were just stopping me and asking me to sing that verse for them again because they enjoyed it.
“And what was even more touching was when black artists messaged me, one wanting to learn Hindi and another from Senegal telling me my music touched his soul.”
“There is not much of a Indian South African field here for our South African Indians to start their career, and when I went on stage I told the president about that and his response was to continue doing what I am doing as I have already made my country proud,” she said.
“It was very encouraging to know all my efforts were being recognised.”
Mooruth added: “The award was not only for me, but also for Indians in South Africa. It was heart-warming to see our music is being recognised, and it was a big moment for Indian music in South Africa.
“Now the younger generation needs to follow suit and start making things happen. Sadly, we do not have an identity as a South African Indian music industry, and we need to build it up.”
Sources: Youtube, Post