Black Coffee makes history as first South African artist to fill Madison Square Gardens in NYC
Written by Brooklyn Masuku on 9 October, 2023
Grammy-award-winning music DJ Black Coffee, real name Nkosinathi Maphumulo, has marked a career-defining moment after becoming the first South African artist to fill Madison Square Gardens in New York City.
Black Coffee took to New York’s world-famous stage on 7 October, becoming the first SA DJ and producer to headline at The Garden.
The Grammy winner celebrated the sold-out show on X (formerly known as Twitter); he wrote: “We did it”.
Joins the list of legendary acts
The DJ joined a long list of legendary acts who have performed at the iconic venue, including Taylor Swift, Elvis Presley, John Lennon, The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Madonna, Elton John, Stevie Wonder, and many others.
Ahead of his performance, Black Coffee expressed his excitement and disbelief to News24: “It’s probably gonna hit me next week,” he said.
Speaking about the music star, Kodwa said Black Coffee’s success shows endless possibilities for SA musicians: “From the streets of Umlazi and Mthatha to the world’s most famous music arenas, Nkosinathi, you are an inspiration to the young and old. You continue to scale the great heights of world music, taking along with you the best of South African music.”
Kodwa added, “Black Coffee headlining at Madison Square Gardens is historic and shows the endless possibilities of South African musicians. We commit ourselves to opening the global audience to our artists. I am sorry I could not join you on your big day at Madison Square Gardens, but I join millions of South Africans supporting you on your journey. All the best, Mashiane, Zukuzela, and Masiyana. You continue to represent South Africa well.”
“Mr Zizi Kodwa expresses his pride as South African musician Mr Nkosinathi Maphumulo, popularly known as Black Coffee, delivers the headline performance at the famed Madison Square Garden in New York City, United States,” the statement said.
In April, the DJ was among the South African Grammy winners honoured by Kodwa for achievements on the global stage.
Kodwa said in the statement:
“Black Coffee headlining at Madison Square Garden is historic and shows the endless possibilities of South African musicians. We commit ourselves to open the global audience to our artists,” he added.
The minister also apologised for not being able to attend the show:
“I am sorry I could not join you on your big day at Madison Square Garden, but I join millions of South Africans supporting you on your journey.”
During the set, Black Coffee played one his most famous tracks, Deep in the Bottom (of Africa) together with Brooklyn-born singer Monique Bingham.
He also featured a number of South African artists, including Major League DJ’s, Bucie and ‘Tomorrows Silver’ singer Msaki.
KZN Premier Nomusa Dube-Ncube said Black Coffee did not only make South Africa proud, but the continent as a whole.
“On behalf of the people of KZN, we would like to join the rest of South Africans and the world in congratulating one of our own, DJ Black Coffee. He didn’t do it for us only as KZN, but for the rest of the nation, Africa, and beyond. We are very proud of him, his management, and the supporting artists who performed with him last night. Madison Square Garden is indeed a global theatre where artistic dreams are realised.
“DJ Black Coffee’s star keeps rising. This is a nice follow-up to his 2016 BET Award and last year’s Grammy Award in the dance/electronic album category, and other accolades in between. We thank him for being a shining star and a positive influence on youth and upcoming artists. Indeed, he is our goodwill ambassador and one of our finest exports” Dube-Ncube said.
Well Done Coffee!!