Burna Boy, 2Baba, others shine at AFRIMA


Nigerian music stars lived up to their billing as giants of the continent, as the best of African music was celebrated at the sixth All Africa Music Awards (AFRIMA) on Saturday.

With the theme: Feel Africa, the event which held at the Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos, had the best of Africa in music.

Though delayed for about three hours, once it started, the show, hosted by Pearl Thusi and comedian Eddie Kadi, went on full throttle and there was no dull moment.

By the time the night was over, winners in 36 categories had emerged.

Recent Grammy-nominee Burna Boy took the Best Male Artiste (West-Africa) and Artiste of the Year award.

Hip hop megastar 2Baba won the Best African Artiste in African contemporary as well as a Special Recognition Award, along with Congolese superstar Awilo Logomba.

The Legendary Award was not open to voting, but was determined by the African Union, International Committee of AFRIMA and the AFRIMA Jury.

Nigerian sensations WizKid won the Song of the Year; Tiwa Savage won the Best Female Artiste (West-Africa).

Rave of the moment, Joeboy, won the Best Artiste in African Pop; DJ Spinall won the Best African DJ.

Other winners included Kelvin Peter (Kel P), who won the Best Producer of the year, Liberian Kanve Adams (Songwriter of the Year), South African Nadia Nakai (Best Artiste in African Hip-Hop and the Best Female Artist in Southern Africa) and South African rapper, Nasty C, (Best African Collaboration and Best African Lyricist).

Moroccan Nada Azhari won Best Female Artist in Northern Africa while fellow Moroccan Amiinux won the Best Male Artiste (Northern Africa) and Best African Dance or Choreography.

The Best Male Artist in Central Africa was won by Salatiel (Cameroon); the Best Female Artist in Central Africa went to Shan’L (Gabon).

Sjava (South Africa) won the Best Male Artist in Southern Africa; Kenyan group, Sauti Sol, won the Album of the Year and Best African Duo, group or band.

A major highlight of the night was 17- year old Kenyan, Nikita Kerring, who won two awards (Best Female in Eastern Africa and Revelation of the African Continent). She took to Instagram to celebrate her feat as youngest AFRIMA winner.

“We did it!! Youngest ever AFRIMA nominee and now the winner of; Best female in Eastern Africa and Revelation of the African continent,” wrote Nikita. “Thank you so much to all that took their time to vote.”

Khaligraph Jones (Kenya) won the Best Male Artiste in Eastern Africa.

The night was also filled with performances that left the audience thrilled. Dressed in Agbada with red designs and a Hausa styled cap, 2Baba, for whom 2019 has been a crowning year as he marked his 20th year as an entertainer, looked regal.

During his performance, he energetically strutted around the stage, singing and dancing, while the audience sang and danced along with him just as some filmed with their cell phones.

Congolese music superstar, Awilo Logomba, also blew the minds of the audience with his performances. Teni thrilled the audience with performance and it was a massive sing-along as she performed her latest track ‘Billionaire’.

The likes of Nikita Kerring, Joeboy, Skibbi, Sauti Sol and Morrocan star, Yann’Sine also performed.

The sixth edition of the All Africa Music Awards, a project of the African Union Commission (AUC) and the International Committee of AFRIMA, was made possible with support from Nigeria.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said the Federal Government would remove all impediments to the growth of the creative industry, as part of the ongoing efforts to encourage the sector’s growth of the.

He said: “As we head into 2020, the successful commercialization of the creative industry is our number one priority.

“It will create jobs, reduce crime, be a major source of foreign exchange and thereby reduce our dependence on oil, rebrand our country internationally and boost our GDP.

“So, we in government are tackling all impediments to the industry thriving.

“We are making cheaper and longer-term financing available for the industry, especially for infrastructural projects, like concert halls across the six geo-political zones of the country, as recently announced by the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria,” he said.

The minister said government was providing the necessary framework through the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation to ensure that listeners of music pay for it.

In addition, he said internet data must be cheaper and owners of content must make more money from the use of their works.

“The other big issue for commercialisation is the digital economy – data must be cheaper and owners of content must make more money from the use of their works.

“I am sure you have been following the announcements by my colleague, the Minister of Communications, on this,” he said.

Other 2019 AFRIMA winners are African Fans’ Favourite, Mafia – Mohamed Ramadan (Egypt); Best African Act in the Diaspora/Best African Artist, Duo or Group in African Electro, ‘Akouna’ ft. Afrotronix & Vox Sambou – Manno Beats (Chad); and Best African Collaboration – ‘SMA’ ft. Rowlene – Nasty C (South Africa).

The rest are Best Artist, Duo in Group in African Jazz, African Time – Owen & Tiana (Gabon); Best Artist, Duo or Group in African Reggae, Ragga or Dancehall,  Tuff Seed – Stonebwoy (Ghana) and Best Artist, Duo or Group in African R&B & Soul,  ‘TV Room’ ft. Garry Mapanzure – Hillzy (Zimbabwe).

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