By Dekunbi Kuye
Though the widely-acclaimed All Africa Music Awards (AFRIMA) might have come to a close for the year, but this year’s AFRIMA Awards, in partnership with the African Union, held recently at the Eko Hotel and Suites in Lagos, leaves behind lots of memories.
AFRIMA is aimed at promoting African Culture and Identity for Development through its yearly award and this year’s event lived to its billing.
Below are five quick reasons why the AFRIMA may be considered as Nigeria’s form of American Oscars.
The African-oriented stage in synch with OSCARS
The stage, which took several days to build, was crafted and designed to suit the African nature and it gave that perfect illusion that are in synch with Grammys or Oscar awards. The ode given by prominent veteran journalist Jimmy Solanke was breath-taking as fans were held glued to their seats, anticipating what would happen next. At the Entrance, all the ushers and bodyguards were given African-inspired South African look.
No African Time
AFRIMA 2015 made its mark as every aspect of the programme was accomplished within the time allotted to it. The red carpet ended as planned, and by 7:45 pm guests were already seated for the commencement of the awards. Even APC National Leader Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the Cultural honouree of the night, was seated with his entourage at 7:45 pm. The event started a few minutes after 8 pm This is very important, because late starts have marked a majority of events this year.
Performances Were Staged like in Oscars
The night gave room to duets and from various African acts and our very own Cobhams with Ladysmith opened the gates to major performance at the event. The strong girl theme was over emphasised as Waje, Victoria Kimani played.
The night was opened with a sizzling performance from the five regions of Africa as led by a joint rendition of Paul Simon’s ‘Diamond on the soles of her shoes’ by Cobhams and Ladysmith Black Mambazo.
And Jagaban Tinubu Was Crowned Pillar of African Arts & Culture
Aside the musical rendition from various acts, the hall stood still when former Lagos State Governor and now APC National Leader, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu, was named and given the award of African Pillar of Arts and Culture. Also, Ladysmith Black Mambazo got the AFRIMA Legendary award for tremendous contributions to the entertainment industry for over five decades now.
Who Got What Award?
At the start of the awards, almost all the awards were going to other countries other than Nigerians. Charlotte Dipanda from Cameroon went home with 3 awards- Album of the Year, Best Female in Central Africa, and Best Artiste in African Contemporary. Diamond Platnumz from Tanzania also won Artiste of the Year, Song of the Year and Best Male Artiste in Eastern Africa. Cassper Nyovest from South Africa had in his kit two awards- Best Male Artiste in Southern Africa and Best Artiste in African Hip Hop, while Kenya group singers, Souti Sol, got Best African Group/Duo/Band and Producer of the Year.
Then, the crowd was worried about what was happening to Nigerian superstars. Later, Kiss Daniel won the Most Promising Artiste in Africa award while YBNL Adekunle Gold won the Revelation of the Year Award. Other Nigerian act winners include Olamide, Yemi Alade, Darey Art Alade, Flavour and Praiz.
The stage was not only African-inspired, it also welcomed famous Nigerian soul singers like Darey Art Alade, who kept the audience in praying and hopeful mood as he rendered “Pray for Me” which is a track off his latest Naked album; Kiss Daniel and Diamond Platnumz all had a fair share and mind blowing performances. However, the night was wrapped up with the electrifying performance by YBNL Boss Olamide who thrilled the audience from Durosoke, to Eleda mi, swapping into Goons mi, Lagos Boys. He signed off the night with hit song Shakitibobo. All in all, it was a night to remember and many including yours sincerely can’t wait for the 2016 AFRIMA Awards.