By Benjamin Njoku

Saturday, October 10 will not be forgotten in a hurry as it was the day, African artistes shut down the beautiful city of Dallas, Texas, United States for this year’s Diasporan African Music Magazine Awards, AFRIMMA, which held at the historic Black Academy of Arts and Letters.

AKA in AFRIMA, held at Dallas, USA.

The Cowboy City had hosted Africa to one of the few celebrity events that make the annual calendar Texas, and as echoed by veteran South African artiste, Yvonne Chaka Chaka, who did more than thrill audience with her classics at the awards show, “Thank you AFRIMMA for bringing Africa to America.”

There is no gainsaying that in just two years, AFRIMMA has become another rallying point for African artistes, artiste managers, label owners and fans of African music from around the world, who converge on the Dallas-Forth Worth metropolis.

From the Westin to Sheraton and the popular Wyndham Dallas Suit and other hotels where guests were housed in the Central Park area, it was an invasion by the glitz of Africa and its stars. The scenario took a notch higher as the celebrities were conveyed in head-turning Limousines to the event venue where the ovation became loudest.

The red carpet was a sight to behold. And as one artiste performed after another, the crowd went into frenzy, setting the mood for the awards proper. Yet, at intervals, the thrill of musical performances, great choreography and comedy continued.

Adding verve to the show was co-hosts, Nigeria’s Basketmouth and Uganda’s comedy queen, Anne Kansiime.

From Dallas-based Nigerian acts, Las Gidi and Big A Entertainment signee, Teddy A to Senegalese Carlou D who mesmerized the audience with his vocal strength and traditional flavored hip-hop tune, to the incredible performances by Yemi Alade, AKA, Kcee, Bracket and evergreen songstress, Yvonne Chaka Chaka who, after presenting the Legendary Award to Youssou Ndour, who was unavoidably absent, started off with her new song, a tribute to the legendary Nelson Mandela it was full all the way.

Notably, Chaka Chaka who was AFRIMMA 2014 Legendary Award winner brought down the roof with her classic song, Umqombothi, Mr. DJ among others.
Sliding into the business of the evening, the night was so much in favour of Diamond Platnumz, having won Best Male East Africa, AFRIMMA Video of The Year, and African Artist of the Year.

Winners also include Bracket for Alive – AFRIMMA Inspirational Song ft Diamond Platinum; Yemi Alade -Best Female West Africa; Vanessa Mdee -Best Female East Africa; Mani Bella-Best Female Central Africa; Kiss Daniel-Best Newcomer; Davido-Best Male West Africa; AKA -Best Male Southern Africa; Yuri da Cunha-Best Male Central Africa; Jidenna-Crossing Boundaries With Music Award; Wizkid’s Ojuelegba-Song of The Year and Icha Chavons-Best Gospel Artist.

Others are Best Dancehall Artist – Patoranking Stonebwoy; Best Dance In A Video – Serge Beynaud – Okeninkpin; Best Collaboration – Aka ft Burnaboy, DaL.E.S and JR – All Eyes On Me; Legendary Award – Youssou Ndour; Best Traditional Act – Fla­vour; Best dancehall Artist – Stonebwoy; Best Dance In A Video – Serge Beynaud Okeninkpin; AFRIMMA Humanitarian Art­ist – 2face Idibia; Best Dance Group – Sauti Sol; and Best Dance Group – D3 dancers.

There would be so much to remember AFRIMMA 2015 for: these include the Friday night welcome party at Club Villa, the AFRIMMA After Party and the Sunday night Comedy Show with Basketmouth, Anne Kansiime, Buchi, Yaw among others.


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