By Ayo Onikoyi, Entertainment Editor
The long awaited All Africa Music Awards, AFRIMA, has come and gone. The chips went down at Eko Hotel, Victoria Island on Sunday, with high hopes on Nigeria artistes to repeat the feat they achieved at the maiden edition of the award in 2014, where they carted home 12 of the 23 continental awards. But that was not to be this year.
If not for the standard they set last year some would have still argued it was a respectable outing for them, with 8 awards in their kitty. Praiz won the Best African Artiste (RnB & soul); Darey got Best African Artiste (Inspirational); Flavour snapped up Best African Artiste (African Electro); Revelation of the Year went to Adekunle Gold; Most Promising African Artiste to Kiss Daniel; Best African Artiste in Jazz to Kunle while Olamide and Yemi Alade won the Best West African Artiste, male and female categories respectively.
However, when it comes to the big ones like the Artiste of the Year, Song of the Year, Album of the Year and Best Group in Africa they were completely out of the picture. And these four categories were all won by them last year. Davido who clinched all 4 big ones was completely missing in action. He 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.
The only person that featured on the winners list is Olamide and what he got was Best Male Artiste in West Africa which was won by Davido in2014.
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 dominated the Nominees list. Of all the 174 nominations in which the country is eligible, it had 63 nominations. But all the country could mustered is 8 awards, meaning they lost in 13 categories.
Interestingly, Nigerian artistes had bigger presence in most of the big continental awards. For Album of the Year award for an instance, there were 9 nominees and Nigerians account for 5. Yemi Alade, Psquare, Bez Idakula, Wizkid and Flavour were all nominated but it was Charlotte Dipanda, from Cameroon, that carried the day. She is one of two Cameroonians nominated in this category. Ghana and Sudan got one nomination a piece. Last year it was won by Olamide.
The current Artiste of the Year is Tanzanian Diamond Platnumz, who beat 5 Nigerian artistes, namely, Wizkid, Davido, Flavour, Olamide and Yemi Alade. Again, this is a tough one for Nigeria to lose because out of the 10 nominees Nigerians make up 50% of them. Tanzania had two, Ghana one, Cameroon one and Uganda one. Davido won the award last year
Anyone would have sworn the Song of the Year is Nigeria’s to lose; there have been just too many of them. At least the nominees list showed that was a must but the reverse was the case. Wizkid, Davido, Psquare and Yemi Alade made the list of 10 nominees in this category. But it was Tanzanian Diamond Platnumz that got away with the 23.9 carat gold plaque. Davido also won the award last year.
Anyway, it was as if many of them read the handwriting on the wall because they failed to turn up for the award. The conspicuous absentees that did not win awards were Wande Coal, Nneka, Timaya, Patoranking, Davido, Wizkid, P-Square, Seyi Shay, among others. Though Flavour and Yemi Alade won awards, they were also absent.