BY BENAMIN NJOKU
The atmosphere was convivial and the venue was electrifying. From the entrance to the main auditorium of the Accra International Conference Centre, one could behold a galaxy of stars descending on the magnificent building for the much awaited awards ceremony.
Indeed, the just All Africa Music Awards,AFRIMA, surely would go down in history, as one of the biggest events of the year that set the tone for uniting the continent through music and culture.
The four-day event, which kicked off on Wednesday, November 21, with a music business summit, climaxed on Saturday, November 24, with the awards night, held at the Accra International Conference Centre, Ghana.
The night saw celebrities and dignitaries from across Africa in attendance. It was a spectacular event as celebrities came out in a blaze of glory to light up the atmosphere. The Accra International Conference Centre, venue of the awards night was classic.
With a whole lot of activities that preceded the awards night, including a city tour which terminated at the Government House as well as gifts that were presented to The Presbic School in Accra, by the organizers, this year’s AFRIMA lived up to its billing.
The annual music event seeks to celebrate and reward African talents who have done exceedingly well in the year. With a total of 36 categories, the 5th AFRIMA winners were culled from the Regional and Continental categories. In addition, special recognition awards fully decided by the International Committee of AFRIMA is awarded to individuals who have impacted positively to the world using their craft.
Besides the razzmatazz, most of the music acts who were expected to win awards lived up to expectations. The awards appeared evenly distributed between the superstars in contention. It was a long night, but the celebs were not in a hurry to leave the crowded venue.
Sadly, most of Nigeria’s nominees with the exception of 2Baba were conspicuously missing at the event. Indeed, what was expected to be a Nigerian show turned a celebration of Ghana’s artists, their culture and entertainment. They seized the occasion and they did not disappoint.
Nonetheless, Nigerian pop singer, Davido won the ultimate African Artiste of the Year, the highest award of the night. He also took home Best Artiste from West Africa award to warp up the year, while his Nigerian counterpart, Eazi, won in his two categories. Also, Tiwa Savage won the Best Female Artiste from West Africa, beating the likes of Simi, Ghanaian Becca, Efyo, Josey and Vivian Chided from Senegal to coast home to victory. 2Baba, Mr. P, Fresh VDM and Falz took home an award each.
Ghanan highlife and Afrobeat singer, Kuami Eugene’s winning Most Promising Artiste on the African continent opened the door to usher in the rest of the awards the host country bagged on the night. Other artistes who made Ghana proud were Stonebwoy(Best Artiste), Duo or Group in African Ragga, Reggae and Dancehall, Sarkodie’s Glory won him Best Male Artiste in African Inspirational Music while KiDi won the Best Artiste in African Contemporary category. Also, Ghana’s Guilty Beatz’s Akwaaba compilation featuring Mr Eazi, Pappy Kojo and Patapaa took home two awards, Best African Collaboration and Song of the Year.