Sound n’ Screen: Spirit Of Africa Comes Alive At AFRIMA 2015


Darey Art Alade with his award at the AFRIMA 2015 held at Eko Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos.

With the level of buildup and media hype for this year’s All Africa Music Awards (AFRIMA), what went down at the Eko Hotel & Suite, Victoria Island, Lagos, was expected; there was no surprise.

Having taken the AFRIMA gospel to other African countries such as Kenya, South Africa and Ethiopia, and with strong backing of the Africa Union (AU), it was obvious that this year’s edition would be a great show; the signs were there. Indeed, it was a great evening that celebrated African unity and heritage.

As at 5pm on Sunday, Eko Hotel premises were awash with guest from different parts of Africa, who thronged the venue for the continental showpiece. Really, it was a phenomenal night for African music, culture, entertainment, fashion and lifestyle. Organised in partnership with the African Union, the award ceremony created a platform for the unification of Africans, using music as viable tool. From East Africa to West Africa, North Africa, Southern Africa and Central Africa… the five quarters of the continent were represented on the night. For sure, there were guests from the western world. Besides, the ceremony was screened live on TV

Hosted by the trio of Denrele Edun, Maria Okanrende and Estelle Ahanda, the arrival was great, as the stars strutted the red carpet in fabulous styles that truly reflects our unity in diversity. From their outfits, you could tell the country of origin of most guests.

With DNG (Davidson Ngibuini) and Aurelle Eliam as host for the main show, the evening of African sounds featured many scintillating performances from the five regions of Africa, but the higpoint for many, was the joint rendition of Paul Simon’s Diamond on the soles of her shoes by Nigeria’s Cobhams and South Africa’s Ladysmith Black Mambazo. In fact, their introduction on stage by veteran poet/musician Jimy Solanke was legendary; what a good way to set the tone for the night.

However, there were surprises and emotions at this year’s award ceremony. Some of this year’s big winners, who smiled home with the priceless 23.9 Karat gold plated AFRIMA trophy include Charlotte Dipanda from Cameroon, who went home with 3 awards (Album of the Year, Best Female in Central Africa, and Best Artiste in African Contemporary), while Diamond Platnumz from Tanzania also won Artiste of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best Male Artiste in Eastern Africa.

Cassper Nyovest from South Africa got two awards (Best Male Artiste in Southern Africa and Best Artiste in African Hip Hop), While Kenya group Souti Sol emerged Best African Group/Duo/Band and also clinched Producer of the Year award.

Other African artistes, who recorded their names on the award winners’ list are Vanessa Mdee (Tanzania), Yemi Alade (Nigeria), AKA (South Africa), Stanley Enow (Cameroon), Flavour (Nigeria), Tsedenia (Ethiopia), Darey (Nigeria), M’vula (Angola), Olamide (Nigeria), Wiyaala (Ghana),  Adekunle Gold (Nigeria), Kiss Daniel (Nigeria), Jose Chameleone (Uganda), Praiz (Nigeria) and others.

One of the high points of the award ceremony was the honour bestowed on the former Lagos State Governor, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu as Africa Pillar of Arts and Culture and AFRIMA legendary award to the group Ladysmith Black Mambazo for still staying strong after five decades.

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