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Inside story of AFRIMA 2019

By BENJAMIN NJOKU

The 6th All Africa Music Awards,AFRIMA, which held at the Convention Centre of Eko hotel and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos, was nothing short of a spectacle. It was a celebration of African music and talents.

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While there was notable absence, a handful of brilliant performances lit up the night. A star-studded event, this year’s AFRIMA was a spectacular blending of old and new, with inspired performances of some of the buzziest new songs on the continent.

Nigeria’s legendary singer, Innocent Idibia, a.k.a 2Baba set the stage for the night with his show stopping performance. Dressed in black Agbada and a cap to match,2Baba proved to the crowd that Nigeria is the home of Afro-hop music. Shortly after receiving his Legendary Award alongside Congolese music veteran, Awilo Longomba, the elated music sensation, who’s due to celebrate his 20 years on stage soon muted ‘ The spotlight is on Africa right now. Let’s do whatever it takes to ensure we make money from African music.” This category is dedicated to recognize individuals who have impacted positively on the world using their craft in the music, arts and culture industry. A category fully decided by the International Committee of AFRIMA.

The pop star blew away the crowd with his eclectic dancing and singing prowess, confirming to everyone that he remains the true legend of this generation. While performing his 2018 hit single, “ Amaka Disappoint Me” which he featured Peruzzi, 2Baba jumped into the crowd who tried to take selfies of him as he surfed them too.

He was not the only Nigerian artiste that thrilled the audience. Also, Teni The entertainer, Skibi; Praiz and Joe Boy all gave a good account of themselves on stage. Other performers on the night were Kenyan Sauti Sol, Amiinux (Morroco); Stonebwoy- (Ghana); and Kanvee Adams (Liberia),

The natural resource-rich Democratic Republic of Congo had two artistes, Awilo Logomnba and Ferre Gola, just as South Africa had three Nadia Nakai who bagged two awards, Tellaman and Master KG.

The Eastern Africa was not left out as talk of the night was the 17 year-old, Nikita Karren, from Kenya whose performance was greeted with a resounding ovation. The songbird who was joined on stage by her mum went home with two awards; Best Female in Eastern Africa and Revelation of the African Continent. She’s beautiful, bold and one of the night’s highest-profile newcomers.

But the night’s biggest winner was Nigeria’s Afro-fusion artiste, Burna Boy who walked away with the Artist of the Year and Best Male Artist in West Africa award. Unfortunately, the rave of the moment was not on hand to receive his awards, just as Tiwa Savage and Wizkid who respectively won Best Female Artist in West Africa and the Song of the Year. Awards were conspicuously absent at the event.

But in all, about 29 artistes performed at the night in a medley that showed collaboration and unity of the continent through music and culture.

However, despite kicking off a little bit behind schedule(at about 10pm), the awards ceremony lived up its billing. The large audience had no dull moments throughout the night just as the music stars from across Africa turned up in elegant dresses, with panache and wonderful carriage. For the sixth time, the continent was united in celebrating the very best of its creative talents. It was indeed a moment of celebration and light relief for the artistes who aside being harangued by challenges in their different countries, were also looking forward to pushing their country’s music to new heights on the global stage. This year edition has no doubt surpassed fans’ expectations. The stage was lit with electrifying performances.

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This year’s events kick start with the Welcome Soiree which took place at the Sky Lounge rooftop of Eko Hotels; a ground welcome reception party for arriving artiste, nominees and delegates where Minister of Information and culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, represented by the Director-General of Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), Yakubu Mohammed welcomed artiste and guests relating a feel-at-home treatment and promised hospitality during their stay in Nigeria.

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