By Benjamin Njoku
AFTER a three-week thorough process of screening and adjudication, 13-man jury of the prestigious All Africa Music Awards,AFRIMA, representing the five regions of Africa, the Diaspora and the African Union Commission, Tuesday, announced nominees for regional categories ahead of its November 9-12, awards ceremony.
The event, held at Renaissance Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos, saw the continent’s biggest names in hip hop music go head to head. Two of Africa’s most popular music stars, Davido and Wizkid are to battle for the Best Male category in West Africa. The duo also has the likes of Runtown, Drake, Tekno, Ycee, Mr. Eazi, Guinean MHD and DJ Arafat from Ivory Cost to beat in order to clinch the 23.9karat Gold plate AFRIMA trophy.
Different genre of music
South African rappers, AKA and Nasty C are up for the same category in the Southern Africa region, just as Kenyan hip hop star, Octopizzo will slug it out with Tanzanian Diamond Platnumz and Ethiopian Sinishaw Legesse among others for the Best Male Artiste in the East African region.
While female acts like Tiwa Savage, Yemi Alade and Babes Wodumo, Aramide,Viviane Chidid, Seyi Shay, Becca and Zeynab are also nominated for Best Female Act in their respective regions.
Announcing the nominees, Mr. Chris Cyren, the juror from Southern Africa said 4,816 entries from African music professionals and music artistes were received at the close of a two-month entry submission window on July 17, this year. He described the nominations process as rigorous and thorough, as he emphasized on the Jury’s resolve to be fair and transparent in line with the AFRIMA values of FACEIT (fairness, authenticity, creativity, excellence, integrity, transparency).
Charles Tabu, AFRIMA’s juror from Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), harped on the need for music lovers in Africa to explore different genre of music from all regions on the continent. Commenting on a question of the criteria of nominees, Mr Bob Ekukole from Cameroon representing Central Africa reiterated that ‘the nominees were picked based on production quality, talent and creativity, melody, originality and authenticity, composition and arrangement. It has to do with the quality of music not on the number of views from any online video platform, some songs from certain regions have more than half a billion views and would have garnered the awards based on such sentiment but it is not so. It has to do with quality.’
Ms Angela Martins, Head, Culture Division, African Union Commission, AUC, noted that the adjudication process was a comprehensive and superb work of the jurors. “This robust submission this year clearly shows the appreciation and recognition of the music awards,” she said, adding that the African Union Commission is geared towards investing in the youth by involving them in the African Union’s 2063 Agenda, which intends to make the youth evolve a desire and expertise in the needed developmental facets of Africa in all areas.