Last weekend was a starry affair with a musical overdose at the All Africa Music Awards which celebrated the continent’s music talents.
The awards ran for four-days and concluded at a ceremony on Sunday (15th Jan) evening in Senegal’s capital, Dakar. Africa’s music talents pumped up the energy and the evening saw performances by the continent’s most famous musicians like Mali’s Rokia Kone, Senegalese singers, Youssou N’dour and Baaba Maal, and Nigeria’s P-Square and Tiwa Savage.
Those who bagged the trophy were mostly Nigerians, singers like Burna Boy, Davido and Wizkid. Another Nigerian singer, Asake, bagged the Breakout Artist of the Year award. Other winners included Ivorian artist Didi B whose song Tala was named song of the year. It was his first award of 2023. While accepting the award, the Ivorian singer-songwriter said, “I dedicate it to my mother and my fans.”
Burna Boy got the Best Album and Best African Act awards.
Most popular Afrobeats singers Davido and Wizkid also won awards. Davido won the Best Inspirational Song for ‘Stand Strong’ and Best African Pop for ‘High’, for which he collaborated with Adekunle Gold. Wizkid won the Best West African Act award.
Performances included famous names like Ghanaian rapper Black Sherif and Nigerian duo P-Squared.
Asake gave an acceptance speech in which he called his journey “a dream”, he continued, “but today, it’s a reality. Thanks to God, my label and to all my fans listening to my songs.”
Ahmed Ololade, his real name, topped Afro-fusion music, popular West African music, last year with his most popular songs such as Sungba, Peace Be Unto You and Omo Ope, amongst others.
The main highlights of his music are the attractive Yoruba and Pidgin English lyrics, easily absorbed beat and his catchphrase, Ololade mi Asake, which he makes initially in many of his songs.
Ololade witnessed a tragedy However, the artist faced tragedy in December 2022 when two people died at his concert in London after a crush at the venue.
Senegal became the first French-speaking African country to host the awards. The event was in partnership with the African Union.
However, Burna Boy, Davido, and Wizkid did not accept the awards physically.
Before the ceremony, over 40,000 people signed a petition asking for not giving the Songwriter of the Year award to Nigerian singer Brymo. Reportedly, Olawale Ashimi, his real name, posted a number of insulting tweets regarding Nigeria’s Igbo ethnic group.
Finally Mali’s Iba One won the award and Brymo apologized and said that his intention was not to offend.
This was AFRIMA’s ninth iteration. According to its organisers, AFRIMA strives to embrace the cultural richness and heritage of the continent while also introducing African performers to international audiences.