Internationally-recognised music stars from Africa and around the globe arrived Nigeria, the entertainment hub of Africa, to be part of the 2014 All Africa Music Awards Main Ceremony on Saturday, December 27, at the Grand Ballroom of the Oriental Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos. Hosted by Democratic Republic of Congo “French speaking hot” female broadcaster and music presenter, Madinga Sona Maria and Nigerian legendary contemporary music star, 2Face Idibia.
The glitteringly ceremony which celebrated musical talent across the African continent was broadcast live on 109 TV stations and attended or entertained by a host of international African music celebrities including; Temi Dollface (Nigeria), Wiyalaa (Ghana), Davido (Nigeria), 2face Ibidia (Nigeria), DJ Arafat (Cote D’Ivoire); Mi Casa (South Africa); Ahmed Soultan (Morocco); Laurette La Perle (Democratic Republic of Congo); Vanessa Mdee (Tanzania); Radio and Weasel (Uganda); Lawi (Malawi); D Bling (Mozambique); Davina Green (Mozambique); Cindy Munyavi (Zimbabwe); MC Mahjoul (Algeria); Elani (Kenya) and Dear Zim (South Africa). The multi-cultural event included themes from the rich Egyptian heritage of the Pharaoh era to the earthy depth of the artistically intricate Benin Kingdom and the fierce power of the Zulu Kingdom.
AFRIMA had done a noticeable job in providing a great awards platform to include all African countries. It was an enormous task. I predict that it will become the premier African awards event for artists and music lovers alike within the next five years.
But this awards show was without controversy. The awards show was originally scheduled to take commence on 9th November with a few days of a music conference and workshop plus an African Village before the main event. A major corporate sponsor pulled out.
Also, many on the public social networks such as Facebook, Google+, Twitter and Instagram expressed disbelief about the winners of many categories, although then it was written that it would be the public that would ultimately decide the category winners.
Some questionable representatives (winners) of the categories.
2Baba a.k.a. 2Face Idibia (the male host of the awards show itself that night) won for "Best African R-n-B Soul" for a record that was released to the public more than ten years ago ("African Queen") although the AFRIMA submission rules stated the date period of the submitted release. This song should have never made it to be even considered. Perhaps this was a mis-association because the organization actually recognizes his recent composition called "Dance In The Rain".
Best female in West Africa was questioned on social media with Angelique Kidjo winning. Although respected, It's hard to see how Yemi Alade, Omawumi, Niyola, Tiwa Savage, Chidinma (Nigeria) and Wiyalaa (Ghana) were in the same voting category.
Another WTF moment on Twitter was how Nigerian artist Davido won the category for "Best African Hip Hop Song". It is not clear what song he won for. But the voting for the Hip Hop category was never made public although there were many, many Hip Hop rap artists representing the continent such as M.Anifest (Ghana), Sarkodie (Ghana), Octopizzo (Kenya), Cassper Nyovest (South Africa) and Stanley Enow (Cameroon) that fell in the release date period and could have legitimately represented the African form of rapping, djaying, beat-making and showmanship of Hip Hop. If you have visited the AFRIMA Voting site in the past, you would have immediately recognized how flawed the coding of the voting process was implemented.
One remarkable theme was how the winners were heavily biased toward the nation of Nigeria. Although, there are 54 other countries in Africa whose music was thoroughly vetted by a hand-picked team of well-noted African music and entertainment executives. It must be noted that a production company based in Nigeria had won the right from the African Union Commission on Music Culture to organize and administer this event. Some remarkable points.