Barely a year after making history as the first African female music artiste to win the BET Award’s Best International Act, Temilade ‘Tems’ Opaniyi was on the path to making history as Nigeria’s first Oscar winner but she sadly lost the Academy Award for Best Original Song to Kaala Bhairava, M. M. Keeravani, and Rahul Sipligunj, performers of the RRR Soundtrack ‘Naatu Naatu’.
‘Naatu Naatu’ was nominated in the Best Original Song category alongside hit movie soundtracks like Rihanna and Tems’ ‘Lift Me Up, Lady Gaga’s ‘Hold My Hand’ for the movie Top Gun: Maverick, Diane Warren’s Applause for the film ‘Tell It Like A Woman’ and “This Is A Life” from ‘Everything Everywhere All at Once’.
Although Tems has lost the Oscars for ‘Lift Me Up’, a song off the Black Panther: Wakanda Forever album, which Rihanna had performed at the prestigious award show on Monday, March 13, 2023, she still retains her crown as the first Nigerian artiste to be nominated for an Oscar.
Within a year, she has become a Grammy-winning artiste as she won the Grammy Awards for Best Melodic Rap Performance for her feature on Future’s ‘Wait For U’, and also become the first African female music artiste to win the BET Award’s Best International Act.
Tems might have lost the Oscars, but her contribution to a song that served as a tribute to one of Hollywood’s biggest superheroes, Black Panther, gives her the right to accept every accolade she gets. She has earned it.