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South African singer Tyla’s victory at the Grammys, beating four Nigerian nominees, has fuelled the two nations’ rivalry as they prepare to face off in a crunch football match on Wednesday.

“South Africa won today but Nigeria will win on Wednesday where it matters most” one user wrote on X.

Tyla won for her song Water in the Best African Music Performance, over Davido, Ayra Starr and Burna Boy.

Nigerians have called on their national team, the Super Eagles, to avenge them.

They play South Africa in the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) semi-finals in Ivory Coast.

“No Nigerian won a Grammy, but a South African won. This is Nigerians being generous so that when we win them in AFCON, they will have something to banter with,” another user wrote on X.

This year saw the introduction of an award for the Best African Music Performance – a move widely welcomed on the continent, despite some criticism that it was long overdue.

Tyla was the first winner and was joyous as she accepted the award on Sunday night.

“This is crazy! I never thought I’d say I won a Grammy at 22 years old!” she exclaimed.

Nigerian Afrobeats giant Burna Boy was nominated in a total of four categories but did not walk away with a single golden gramophone.

However, his spellbinding performance at the award ceremony left the audience in awe.

Nigerian singer Billy O told the BBC he was disappointed Nigerian singers did not win the award, saying this showed a lack of real appreciation for Afrobeats and Afro RnB by the voters.

“Despite dominating in Africa, I think we are not really well appreciated when it comes to Grammys,” he said.

Despite the fierce rivalry between Nigeria and South Africa, three-time Grammy nominee Davido extended his congratulations to Tyla on X and told her to “keep soaring”.

South Africa was also represented by comedian Trevor Noah who was at the helm of the prestigious award ceremony, which he hosted for a fourth time.


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