The evening included performances by Janelle Monae, Nicki Minaj and Migos.
Nigerian musician Davido has become the first worldwide act nominee to receive his award live on stage during the main Black Entertainment Television (BET) Awards.
For the first time, BET chose to change its own rules by allowing nominees of the Best International Act category to receive their award on stage.
South African singer Sjava won the prize which was announced by pre-show host Terrence Jenkins at Microsoft Theater, Los Angeles, California.
It's been a big year for the 34-year-old, who was one of three South African artists to feature on the Black Panther film soundtrack, released in February.
Ella Mai performed her breakout hit "Boo'd Up".. Beyonce, who won the award for the best female R&B/pop artist, and Cardi B, who got the best female hip hop artist award. The most talked about moment of the show was Meek Mill & Miguel's performance, with Twitter activity peaking at 10:20 PM ET with 7,856 total interactions.
Other significant wins include Serena Williams receiving the "Sportswoman of the Year" award and "A Wrinkle in Time" Director Ava Duvernay getting the "Best Director" Award.