As soon as the list of nominees for Best International Act: Africa had been announced TopTV’s Marketing department made contact with Teargas, offering them the opportunity of attending the awards ceremony in LA on 26 June. Says Elouise Kelly, Vice President: Marketing: “We are in the business of entertainment and the BET Awards is one of the most highly anticipated events in terms of the awards calendar.” She adds: “It is our pleasure to be sending Teargas to the BET Awards in LA, where they’ll get the opportunity to meet and greet some of the world’s best known and most loved celebrities. Who knows, perhaps they’ll end up doing a collaboration with RiRi, Nicki or Young B.”
Teargas is made up of three like-minded men namely; Ntokozo “K.O” Mdluli from Pit Ritief in Mpumalanga as well as brothers Ezee “Ma-E” and Bantu “Ntukza” Habane from Soweto.
They all met at Vaal Tri-Angle Technikon in Vanderbijlpark, Gauteng where they became best friends due to their common interests in hip hop. Although the group officially came to being in 2004, prior to that, the guys were mostly making moves in the underground hip hop circuit.
Inspired by the country’s political past where police used TEARGAS to dispense protesting crowds in South Africa’s townships, the threesome opted to call themselves Teargas, where they see their music as a tool to disperse socio-economic ills like crime, HIV/Aids, poverty etc.
The group’s first album in 2005 proved to be an instant hit. The video for their single “Chance” earned them respect and accolades among peers in the industry and was listed in the 2007 South African Music Awards. They were also nominated in four categories in the 7th Annual Metro FM Awards and took three of them.
They were again nominated in the 9th Annual Metro FM Music Awards, walking away with the award for Best Group and again walked away with the Best Rap Category Award in the 15th Annual MTN South African Music Awards in 2009.
The 2011 BET Awards nomination is Teargas’ first international nomination and the group is more than excited at being recognized among giants like Angelique Kidjo, 2Face and D’Banj, D-Black and Fally Ipupa. Of the trip and nomination, the guys commented: “We’re going to carry S.A’s hopes with pride and we’re very proud to be sponsored by TopTV for this trip. We’re hoping that this trip will lead to and build a bigger relationship with TopTV and the S.A Music Industry going forward.”
TopTV viewers can tune into the BET Awards 2011 on July 3 at 20:00 and for an encore again on July 9 at the same time. Teargas will also make an appearance on BET’s 106 & Park in an interview with Nick Cannon from the red carpet of the live event, this will be screened on June 30 in the 106 & Park Pre-Show of the BET Awards 2011…only on TopTV, channel 190.