by Benjamin Njoku
Organizers of the prestigious All Africa Music Awards, AFRIMA, have unveiled the nominees’ list (regional category) for its 6th edition, with pop star Davido set to battle for the coveted 23.9 carats gold-plated AFRIMA Trophy alongside Wizkid, Shatta Wale, Kizz Daniel, Salif Keita, Burna Boy, Ghana’s King Promise, Mail’s Saif Keita for the Best Male category in Western Africa. The ceremony scheduled to hold from November 20 through 23, 2019.
Also, Tiwa Savage, Teniola, Simi, Aya Nakamura, Mzvee, Yemi Alade among others will be competing with their counterparts from Liberia, Kanvee Adams, Guinea, Manamba Kante, and Ghana’s Mzvee for the Best Female category in Western Africa. Dominating Central Africa include Cameroonian artistes such as Blanche Baily, Charlotte Dipanda, Daphne alongside their male counterpart Locko, Magasco and Salatiel.
For Eastern Africa; we have great contenders including Sheebah from Uganda; Vanessa Mdee from Tanzania; Nikita Kering from Kenya with Tanzanian Diamond platinum, Rayvanny, Mboso, and Kenyan Khaligraph Jones and Nyashinski.
Moroccan Yann’Sine, Ahmed Soultan, Amiinux, and Algerian Soolking with Cairokee from Egypt, Salma Rachid from Morocco will be battling it out in the Northern region for Best Male and Female category.
A huge representation for South African artiste as they hold sway over the Southern African region for both Male and Female categories. These artistes include AKA, Nasty C, Cassper Nyovest, Sjava, Black Coffee, Kelly Khumalo, Zonke, Nadia Nakai among others. Amara Brown, Tamy Moyo, Jah Prayzah, and Winky D also lock down few spots for Zimbabwe in the Southern regional category.
Unveiling the nominees’ list, on Wednesday, at Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos, AFRIMA jury stated that the nominees’ list for Regional and Continental category emerged from the 8,157 songs/videos received as entries from its online portal which closed earlier on August 2, 2019.
The Regional category for Best Female Artistes and Best Male Artistes of the five regions (Western, Southern, Eastern, Northern, and Central Africa) have been thoroughly selected from the entries to reveal artiste who will be competing at the 2019 awards ceremony.
This year’s list showcases a wide range of creativity and talents both from new and known artiste across the regions. With an array of industry professionals, artists and music journalists were in attendance, the event was broadcast on African Independent Television (AIT), RayPower Fm and Kennis Music FM as the remaining 25 continental categories will be released on Friday, August 23, 2019, after auditing by the International auditors of AFRIMA. The continental category comprising of different genres of music will be released on Friday, August 23, following an auditing process from the international auditors of AFRIMA. Drawing from their pool of experience and professionalism, the 13-man jury, guided by the AFRIMA acronym FACEIT which stands for Fairness, Authenticity, Creativity, excellence, Integrity, and Transparency underwent a week-long process of thoroughly screening, categorizing, assessing, and grading from the thousands of entries in order to arrive at the best reflection of rich and creative talents embedded in African music, reviewed songs were produced between the period of August 1, 2018, to August 2, 2019.
Mr Chris Syren, representing Southern Africa, speaking on behalf of the AFRIMA jury, gave a report on their activities including the tireless and assiduous process they had to embark upon during adjudication, the quality of works received, criteria for selection, and the voting process. He commended AFRIMA for its sense of inclusiveness and unity at leading the conversation of using music as a tool for integration and shared prosperity in Africa. The Head of Culture, Africa Union, Mrs Angela Martins, via a video conference expressed her excitement of this year’s AFRIMA, its capacity to promote the African culture positively as well as called for more support for the continental initiative
The AFRIMA online voting platform is set to open to the public on Sunday, September 1 and will run till November 22.