Beyond the glamour and entertainment, the 2018 edition of the All Africa Music Awards (AFRIMA) was a revelation of the shift in the music industry with the emergence of new music acts across the continent who are set to upstage the big names.
Foremost of the revelations at the fifth edition of the music awards, which held at the Accra International Conference Centre recently was Betty G, an Ethiopian music sensation whose popularity has grown beyond her country, East Africa and the continent at large.
Betty G surprised the audience and, especially established music acts when she beat many known musicians to emerge as the Best Female Artiste in Eastern Africa with her song ‘Mengedegna’, as well as, winning the Revelation of the African Continent category. The Ethiopian music sensation caught the most attention of the audience when she was announced as the winner of the Album of the Year category with her album ‘Wegegta’, and her highest music award so far.
Other revelations include; Ghana’s Kuami Eugene who won the Most Promising Artiste in Africa and Shekhinah Donell, South African emerging song writer and musician, who won Song Writer of the Year award with her song ‘Different’. Shekhinah consolidated her emergence with another success as the Best Female Artiste in Southern Africa with her song ‘Please Mr’.
As well, nobody expected Sibusiso Mashiloane to emerge Best Artiste in African Jazz going by the big names who always win the awards in the past. But Sibusiso, who dedicated the award to his students and late jazz artistes across the continent, said the feat was a testimony of how competitive African jazz is becoming in recent times.
Also, the big names were upstaged by Fresh VDM, which emerged as Producer of the Year. The Lome-Togo based producer won the award with ‘Fia’ while Tanzania’s Nedy Music surprisingly won the African Fans’ Favourite award, which queried the famed popularity of some acts or rather a pointer to the fact that African fans are listening to some other acts now.
While rewarding new acts, the award also recognised African music legends. The 5th AFRIMA Legendary awards were given to Yvonne Chaka Chaka, South African musician with over 30 years of career and Teddy Osei, Ghanaian music legend and leader of the Osibisa afropop band.
Akninwumi Ambode, governor of Lagos State, Nigeria, was also recognised with special award for his support for the arts and culture sector and also for hosting four past editions of the awards in Lagos.
There were winners across the 36 categories of the award with Nigeria’s Davido emerging as the Artiste of the Year, the biggest of the awards, with his song ‘Fia’.
Speaking at the awards hosted by Michael Blankson, Pearl Thusi and Anita Erskine, Mike Dada, president of AFRIMA, said the awards existed to celebrate African music and to portray the continent as having other things besides poverty and violence. “We are using AFRIMA to communicate ourselves to the rest of the world unapologetically and to reward our music stars”.
Tags: African music
, AFRIMA 2018