By Benjamin Njoku
Angolan RnB star, Anselmo Ralph, traditional music star from Mali, Oumou Sangare and Nigerian pop-star, Wizkid lead the pack of highest nominated African music talents on the just unveiled 2017 All Africa Music Awards (AFRIMA) Nominees List with six, six and seven nominations respectively. This was revealed on Thursday, August 17, as the African Union and the International Committee of AFRIMA released the full AFRIMA 2017 nominees while also disclosing that public voting on the AFRIMA website,has been scheduled to open on Monday, August 21.
The full nominees list of 33 categories comprising of the Regional Category which covers the five African regions and the genre-based Continental Category was revealed to the media and on AFRIMA digital media platforms.
Angola’s Electro Music Diva, Nsoki and Tanzania’s RnB musician, Ali Kiba both garnered five nominations. Nigerian pop-artistes Davido, Runtown and Seyi Shay, as well as Moroccan-American star French Montana, Cameroon’s Daphne and Uganda’s Eddy Kenzo have earned four nominations each in the jostle for the for 23.9 karat gold-plated AFRIMA trophy.
From August 21 – November 11, music lovers across the continent will be empowered to vote for their favorite artistes in Regional and Continental categories during the voting period that will be ongoing for 11 weeks on the AFRIMA website. The works that were reviewed and assessed by the AUC-AFRIMA’s 13-man are strictly within the year in review (August 1,2016 –July 17,2017).
Other African talents which made the AFRIMA 2017 Nominees List with three nominations each include: Fally Ipupa (DRC); Hugh Masekela (South Africa); Nduduzo Makhathini (South Africa); Juliana Kanyomozi (Uganda); Fnaire (Morroco); Toofan (Togo); Locko (Cameroon); Kibrom Birhane (Ethiopia); Eddy Kenzo (Uganda) and C4 Pedro (Angola). Contemporary music stars with two nominations are: Mr. Eazi (Nigeria); R2Bees (Ghana); Mi Casa (South Africa); Zeynab (Benin); Psquare (Nigeria); Jah Prayzah (Zimbabwe); Dark Suburb (Ghana); Qritiqal (Kenya); AKA (South Africa); Diamond Platnumz (Tanzania); Bussine (Gabon); Lacrim (Algeria); Bombino (Niger); MHD (Guinea); Victoria Kimani (Kenya) and Yemi Alade (Nigeria), Adekunle Gold(Nigeria) amongst others.
Africa’s ace music video directors have also been nominated for their depth of perception in making motion picture come alive in various artistes’ songs. Meji Alabi (Nigeria) has received a nomination for his work on Seyi Shay’s ‘Yolo Yolo’ (Nigeria); similarly Abderrafia el Abdioui’s makes it to the list for Fnaire’s ‘Ngoul Mali’ (Morroco). Others are Alan Ferguson for Wizkid’s ‘Come Closer’, Redux version; Sasha Vybz’s for Eddy Kenzo’s ‘Jubilation’(Uganda); Fabasf Konexion for his work on Bussine’s ‘All Africa Party’ (Gabon); Adasa Cookey has also been nominated for Orezi’s ‘Cooking Pot’ (Nigeria), Chris Saunders for Oumou Sangare’s ‘Yere Faga’ (Mali) and DJ Marcel earns two nominations his work on Nsoki’s ‘Africa Unite’ (Angola), and for ‘Love Again’ a song by Angola’s C4 Pedro featuring Kenya’s Sauti Sol.
The public voting process is part of AFRIMA’s core values, FACE-IT, which asserts that the process must exude Fairness, Authenticity, Creativity, Excellence, Integrity and Transparency. This empowerment process is part of the participation culture that the African Union Commission and AFRIMA embody. In addition, the AFRIMA Academy, comprising of music production experts and analysts, will also be involved in the open online voting process.
The 2017 AFRIMA will hold from November 10 to 12 featuring a rich programme of events such as the Africa Music Business Roundtable (November 10), which garners the big music brands in the continent’s music industry, to deliberate on the nurturing and packaging of the industry in a way that creates jobs and adds to the GDP of the continent.
Other events are the AFRIMA Music Village (November 10), an evening of a non-stop open music festival of live performances from the African stars and nominees, with an expected audience of 20,000 people; The Main Awards Ceremony (November 12); a glittery, star-studded and world-class event with live performances and television broadcast to 84 countries on 109 television stations around the world.
In partnership with the African Union Commission, AFRIMA is aimed at celebrating the rich musical heritage of the African continent. It employs the tool of music to encourage unity, cooperation, interaction, partnerships and progress in the continent. It will be broadcast live to over 84 countries around the world.