The very best of the best in African music are all in Lagos, Nigeria, right now. Not for any other reason but for the All Africa Music Awards, which will be making its second outing in Nigeria. The venue is Eko Hotel, Victoria Island, and the occasion promises to be nothing but a musical jamboree and a celebration of African cultures, talents and artistic values.
The 2014 edition pretty much reaffirmed Nigeria’s position as the hub of African music as our musical acts dominated the winners’ list. Nigerian artistes took home the highest number of trophies, 13 in total, with the Aye crooner, Davido, carting away four of the coveted 29.3 carat gold-plated AFRIMA trophies.
Davido won The Best African Hip Hop, Song of the Year; Artiste of the Year, and Best Male Artiste in West Africa. Shakiti Bobo crooner, Olamide came home with the coveted Album of the Year award while the sensational twins, P-Square got the Best African Group award.
Don Jazzy, Brymo, Bez, 2Face, D’banj, Yinka Ayanda, Nikki Laoye, and Fela Anikulapo Kuti (Posthumous Legendary award) were all winners on the night.
Out of the 23 continental awards given out, Nigeria was victorious in 12 and also clinched one of the two regional awards applicable to the country.
But the big question on the lips of many, is: Will they repeat the same feat or achieve more this year? From the look of things, with the chips all square and fair, the country should equal or even surpass the feat of last year, which was the maiden edition of the award.
Nigeria has nominations in all the 24 categories applicable to the country except in the categories: Best African Hip Hop, Best African Rock and Best African Traditional Music. It means the country is open to collect 21 awards, where in most cases they dominate the Nominees list. Of all the 174 nominations in which the country is eligible, it has 63 nominations.
Without demeaning any category of the award, there are the big ones which the whole continent and the world look forward to. These are: Best Album of the Year, Best Song of the Year, Best Artiste of the Year and possibly the Best Group of the Year. Last year, Nigerian artistes won them all. Olamide’s Baddest Guy Ever Liveth, won the Album of the Year Award, while Davido won both the Song of the Year with Aye and Artiste of the Year awards. P-Square clinched the Best Group award.
For AFRIMA 2015 Nigerian artistes are again in pole position to win in all of these four categories. Psquare has been nominated again for the Best Group award category. For the Album of the Year, Wizkid, Psquare, Yemi Alade, Brymo, and Flavour have been nominated alongside 4 other Africans. Davido, Yemi Alade, Wizkid and Psquare will battle 6 other Africans for the Song of the Year. For the Artiste of the Year, Davido, Flavour, Olamide, Wizkid, and Yemi Alade go in tango with 5 other African artistes.
With these stakes in our favour, Nigeria sure looks good for another round of awards haul.