The eThekwini Municipality has moved swiftly to address questions around a BET send-off breakfast it hosted on Wednesday morning in honour of Babes Wodumo and Nasty C.
The breakfast, which was funded by Durban Tourism, got tongues wagging over the amount of tax payers’ money that was spent on the event.
eThekwini Municipality spokesperson Mthunzi Gumede told TshisaLIVE that the “intimate” breakfast was hosted to honour the artists ahead of the BETs and that he was aware of “a few” complaints on social media over the event.
“The breakfast had an attendance of less than 100 people, just some artists and the media. The aim was to celebrate these young artists that are flying the Durban flag internationally. We wanted to tell them that we are rooting for them at the awards,” he said.
Mthunzi explained that Durban Tourism forked out of its coffers to cover the event’s cost but used internal resources to minimise the cost.
“We don’t think it is a waste to celebrate people that put us on the map. It is not the first time either, we have done the same thing for artists like Khaya Mthethwa and Ladysmith Black Mambazo. So it is absolutely worth it,” he said.
Nasty C told TshisaLIVE he was grateful to the municipality for the gesture that demonstrates their support.
“I’m grateful that they found the time to put something like that together. I found out about two days back and I am glad that they are showing us that we are not alone, their support is very appreciated,” he said.
The young rapper said that he doesn’t want to go to LA with too many expectations but he is looking forward to having a good time.
“This will be my first time at the BETs, I am looking forward to having a great time and I hope I come back with the award,” he said.
Babes and Nasty C are joined by rapper AKA in the Best International Act: Africa category, while SA music veteran Yvonne Chaka Chaka will also be honoured with a BET International Global Good Star and Power award at the event.
Newcomer Amanda Black is also representing SA in the Viewers Choice: Best International category.
The BET Awards will be held at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, California on June 25.