AFRIMA: Promoting Africa through new narrative, incentives

•As Nigeria, S/Africa, Morocco, Tanzania top regional nominees lists

THE quest to position Africa on the global platform has called for new narrative and this new revolutionary template is building a team spirit for Africans to come together to tell the story of Africa better and more precisely through its rich culture and talents.

However, in the allied tourism sector, covering socio-cultural music and entertainment, All Africa Music Awards (AFRIMA) has taken a leap to redefine, promote, encourage and celebrate African  culture and talents through the AFRIMA big platform which has recognised many African music artistes in the last five years.

All Africa Music Awards is an annual awards event. The awards event was established by the International Committee of AFRIMA, in collaboration with the African Union, to reward and celebrate musical works, talents and creativity around the African continent while promoting the African cultural heritage.

AFRIMA is a combined effort to recognise, promote and preserve Africa’s rich music culture. It is expected to be the biggest music event in Africa.

In Africa, music is always seen as inseparable from human existence. It carries long traditions and values that are associated with the people and represent part of their identities.

Good experiences need to be created for the millions of followers of African music all over the world for them to understand and appreciate Africa’s culture. Hence, AFRIMA was born to inspire generations and celebrate African music.

One interesting aspect of the AFRIMA content is the opportunities given to participants to travel and visit the host country, which in actual fact makes them to have better understanding of each other, thereby erasing the western stereotype that might have caused a kind of culture shock to them at the host country. This has continued to open new vista of opportunities among Africans to promote one another.

Nigeria, at the inception of AFRIMA, won the bid for the hosting right and Lagos State hosted the event from 2014 to 2016 before Ghana took over with the pre-arrangement to host for three years. But after the 2018 edition in Accra, Ghana rested its hosting right and the offer was thrown open to the new host to be announced in September, the organisers, African Union and AFRIMA committees announced during a world press conference in Lagos recently.

No doubt, the sixth edition of the All Africa Music Awards will fully capture the real essence of the incentives component of MICE Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, Exhibition and Event with the buildup of the event featuring a welcome soiree (meeting) followed by the AFRIMA music village, the host city tour (incentives), the Africa music business summit (conference), the exclusive nominees’ party (event) and conclude with the live awards ceremony (event).

Subsequently, the African Union (AU) and the International Committee of All Africa Music Awards (AFRIMA) unveiled the nominees’ list (regional category) for its 6th edition which emerged from the 8,157 songs/videos received as entries from its online portal that closed earlier on August 2, 2019 at a conference recently in Lagos.

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 artistes who will be competing at the 2019 awards ceremony.

This year’s list showcases a wide range of creativity and talents from new and known artistes across the regions. Artistes like Shatta Wale, Kizz Daniel, Salif Keita and Burna Boy will be competing for the Best Male category in Western Africa, while Teniola, Simi, Aya Nakamura, Mzvee, Yemi Alade, among others, will be competing for the Best Female category in Western Africa.

Dominating Central Africa include Cameroonian artiste, Blanche Baily; Charlotte Dipanda, Daphne alongside their male counterparts Locko, Magasco and Salatiel.

For Eastern Africa, there are 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, Algerian Soolking with Cairokee from Egypt and Salma Rachid from Morocco will be competing in the northern region for best male and female categories.

Artistes from South Africa dominate 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 African regional category.

The continental category list comprising different genres of music will be released 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 (Fairness, Authenticity, Creativity, Excellence, Integrity, and Transparency) underwent a week-long process of thoroughly screening, categorising, assessing, and grading the thousands of entries in order to arrive at the best reflection of rich and creative talents embedded in African music, reviewing songs that were produced between August 1, 2018 and August 2, 2019.

Mr Chris Syren, representing southern Africa, who spoke on behalf of AFRIMA jury, gave a report on their tireless activities to bring forth the quality of works received,  said the nominees’ work went through different 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 at this year’s AFRIMA as well as its capacity to promote the African culture positively and called for more support for the continental initiative.

According to the organisers, the AFRIMA online voting platform will open and run from September 1 to November 22, where both continental and regional nominees in the 36 AFRIMA-awarding categories will compete against one another for the coveted 23.9 carats gold-plated AFRIMA trophy.

Nominees will depend on their fans and followers spread across the globe to vote for them via the AFRIMA website,