Amapiano queen “ShaSha” whose real name is Charmaine Shamiso Mapimbiro, won the Viewer’s Choice: Best New International Act at the Black Entertainment Television (BET) awards via streamline.

ShaSha was nominated together with some of the finest new voices on the globe who include Rema (Nigeria) Celeste (UK), Young T & Bugsey (UK), Hatik (France) and Stacy (France).

The awards, which are in their 20th year, were held over the weekend through virtual platforms because of the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

They were hosted by comedian and actress Amanda Seales with performances from stars like Alicia Keys, Chloe x Halle, DaBaby, D Smoke, Jennifer Hudson, John Legend, Jonathan McReynolds, Kane Brown, Lil Wayne, Megan Thee Stallion, Roddy Ricch, SiR, Summer Walker, Usher and Wayne Brady, were held to celebrate the achievements in entertainment and honours music, sports, television, and movies.

ShaSha’s award was presented by bubbly Mzansi’s own Nomzamo Mbatha.

Soon after the announcement, Shasha took to social media to thank her fans and said the award came as a shock.

“What just happened? A BET, thank you my people back at home and all over the world,” she posted.

In her acceptance speech at her home in SA, she said, “I am super excited and I can’t believe that I have just won this award. I want to thank God, my family and people back home, my team in South Africa. Everybody has been super amazing. I love you guys,” she said before blowing a kiss to her fans.

In an interview with The Herald Arts, ShaSha said she called her mum first before anyone else and savoured the moment and victory.

“I called my mother first in the  wee hours telling her the good news. This award means a lot to me, I am thinking about it every second. Just being nominated means a lot to me and it has opened more doors for me and that platform itself has given me the exposure. Now that I have won it, everything is changing drastically. I appreciate the love and support I have been given back at home. Zimbabweans played a big role

She said it was going to work harder than before since she was now a BET winner and a lot was expected of her.

“I am going to be releasing an album later this year. It is more work, drive, push and focus. Everything I have been doing has just elevated now. This things only happen once and you have to live for it,” she said.

The “Tender Love” singerzz said she could not wait to fly back home to celebrate with family, fans and friends soon after the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown has been eased.

“As soon as all this is done, I will fly back home. It was part of my plans earlier this year, as I was supposed to have a tour in Zimbabwe, but unfortunately the plans were cancelled because of the coronavirus, but I can’t wait to be home,” she said.

Meanwhile congratulatory messages have continued to pour in from all over Africa for ShaSha who is signed to Sony Music and works with DJ Maphorisa.

Minister of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation, Kirsty Coventry tweeted, “The @BET Best New International Act Award goes to Zimbabwean @ShashaOfficial… Makorokoto ShaSha, keep raising our flag and spreading the light”

National Arts Council of Zimbabwe (NACZ) director Nicholas Moyo said this was ground-breaking for the arts industry and fellow artistes should take a leaf from the talented musician.

“As we speak we are actually doing a congratulatory letter, which will be sent to her. It is a good present to Zimbabwe and it brings smiles to the arts industry, especially in the times we are, it brings relief. We are celebrating with her and this is a lesson to us that we should take a leaf from ShaSha and be convinced that we can do it no matter the obstacle. We should keep pushing and we can do it. Remember it was a “people’s choice” category and our numbers speak volumes. Thank you all who supported and thank you Africa,” he said.

Arts blogger Plot Mhako who is also believed to have pushed the #voteshasha campaign on social media said he was happy that the first BET award coming was home.

“This is historic. It is monumental for Zimbabwe as a country, a global win for our artistes too. ShaSha has just reignited a flame of self-belief, perseverance and national pride. She has proven that it is possible and Zimbabwe has a space to fill on the international stage,” he said.

South African rapper Sho Madjozi who was also nominated in another category but lost to Nigerian superstar Burna Boy also posted on her Twitter account.

“ShaSha, congratulations. It’s one of the best feelings in the world,” she wrote.

Celebrity stylist and fashion designer Ngugi Vere said, “Congratulations to our ShaSha on your win. Thank you for putting us out to the world. History has been made and it has your name and Zimbabwe. Salute to Zimbabwean talent.”