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AFRIMA Teranga Edition… A Blast Of Music In Dakar

By Chinonso Ihekire
28 January 2023   |   4:01 am
Dakar, the capital city of Senegal was agog recently as leading African artistes, celebrities and stakeholders in the music industry stormed the city for the 8th edition of the All Africa Music Award (AFRIMA) dubbed Taranga Edition.

Faouzia, Davido, Burna Boy, Ans-T Crazy, Wizkid, Marwan Moussa, Makahazi, Didi B, Others Shine

Dakar, the capital city of Senegal was agog recently as leading African artistes, celebrities and stakeholders in the music industry stormed the city for the 8th edition of the All Africa Music Award (AFRIMA) dubbed Taranga Edition.

Right from the Blaise Diagne International Airport, near the town of Diass in Thiès Region, about 43 kilometres east of downtown Dakar, one could tell that something grand was coming to Senegal, as guests, including popular African music stars, flew in from different parts of the continent and beyond to be part of the music initiative that aims at celebrating African music and culture globally.

The 4-day event kick-off fully on Thursday, January 12, 2023, with a Host Country Tour, which saw guests visit popular tourists sites in Dakar, including the Gorée Island, a small, car-free island off the coast of Dakar, known for its role in the 15th to 19th century Atlantic slave trade. There was also the School visit and gift presentation (as part of AFRIMA’s Corporate Social Responsibility), as well as a Welcome Soiree in the evening.

The event continued on Friday, January 13, 2023, with the Africa Music Business Summit (AMBS) at the Grand Theatre, in Dakar. The AMBS is Africa’s largest gathering of creative professionals in the music industry and it features workshops and panel discussions on issues and opportunities within the African music industry.

The 8th AFRIMA continued with high momentum at the AFRIMA Music Village, situated at the Grand Theatre, where guests were treated to a free-to-enter concert featuring live performances from the biggest music stars across the continent, including Senegalese heavyweights Jeeba, and Sidy Diop; South African stars Jimmy Dludlu, Kelvin Momo, DJ Maphorisa, Thapelo Lekoane, respectively; Cameroonian showstoppers Tayc, Tenor, and Asaba, respectively. Other major acts include Nigeria’s Tiwa Savage, the Ivorian stars Josey, Lil Jay, Bella Falcao, Awilo Logomba, Fior2Bior, Kiki Moteleba, Roseline Layo, Serge Beynaud and others.

On the eve of the awards ceremony, the events started with main rehearsals, media engagements and courtesy visits. There was also a live recording booth at the venue for musicians across all five regions of the continent, and in the diaspora, to explore collaborative recordings. The day’s activities climaxed with a nominees exclusive party, with the stars in attendance.

It was a breathtaking experience on Sunday night, at the 15000-capacity Dakar Arena, as superstars from across the continent graced the main AFRIMA Award ceremony. Broadcast live to over 84 countries around the world, the show featured a spectacular red carpet reception that saw different shades of fashion and style from Africa stars. In deed, it was a celebration of rich Africa’s fashion heritage.

One by one, group-by-group, guests thronged the arena, as the DJ treated them to best of African songs. Before long, the venue was packed with fun seekers. The stage eventually came alive with the opening glee that set the tone for the night; it was a spectacular display.

If you are of the opinion that Nigeria music still dominates the continent, well, that’s very correct. However, events at the 8th AFRIMA Award show that other African countries are gradually picking up and making impact with their own brand of music. A good example was Viviane N’Dour, who sparked excitement in the audience with her classy performance.

A Senegalese pop singer who is the former backing vocalist and former sister-in-law of Youssou N’Dour, Viviane is known as the queen or reine of Senegalese music. Her fusion of regional mbalax rhythms with Western R&B and hip-hop elements has made her a star in her native country and much of West Africa.

Viviane began her career in the 1990s, as a backing vocalist for Senegalese music icon Youssou N’Dour, and was married to his brother Bouba N’Dour, until 2011, before launching a successful solo career and forming her own group, Le Jolof Band.

Although she continued to sing with Youssou’s band, she enjoyed widespread national success with solo albums like 2004’s Esprit and 2010’s Wuy Yaayooy. Singing in a mix of Wolof, English, and French, Viviane’s popularity continued into the next decade with a series of releases for the Wonda Music label. Later works like 2017’s Wuyama EP and the 2020 full-length Benen Level trended more toward bright, electronic-laced Afro-pop than the R&B styles of her early days.

On the other hand, Senegalese singer Sidy Dip ignited the arena with his infectious tunes; the reception was massive. With a warm and distinctive tenor, Diop fuses bright Mbalax rhythms with romantic Afropop. After building a grassroots following through social media, he made his album debut with 2018’s Ndortel and subsequent EP Tidiane Yi.

Raised in the Dakar suburb of Pikine, Diop began his career as a working musician, playing at weddings and baptisms before building up an online presence with his own songs like Sa Hein Hein and Coucou Snap.

However, highpoint of the night was performance by Nigeria’s P-Square, who took audience down memory lane with their rich musical repertoire. Of course, where there’s P-Square, there’s dance; their energetic dance routines earned them several rounds of applause. Meanwhile, Paul Okoye (one half of P-Square) showed up in Dakar with his new lover, Ivy Ifeoma, a model, TikToker, fashion, beauty, and lifestyle influencer from Abia State.

The 8th AFRIMA saw superstars like the Nigerian maverick Davido, clinch 3 awards in one night, as he emerged winner of the Best African Collaboration, Best Duo or Group in African Electro, and Best Male Artiste in African Inspirational Music categories, respectively.

Other continental champions such as Egyptian rapper Marwan Moussa followed closely, clinching two awards for Best African Rapper/Lyricist, as well as Best Duo or Group in African Hip Hop categories, respectively.

Importantly, in the non-voting category, the International Executive Committee bestowed the Legend Award for the 8th AFRIMA to three iconic Senegalese veterans including Youssou N’dour, Baaba Maal, and Ismail Lo. All the winners across all the remaining 39 categories for the 8th AFRIMA in Senegal were decided by popular votes from music lovers.

The voting period for the 8th AFRIMA began on September 25, 2022 and ended on Friday January 13, 2023. The voting procedure and results were reviewed and collated by an international auditor of great repute, Pricewaterhousecoopers (PwC) – auditors of the Oscars.

Speaking at the event, Executive Producer/President, Mike Dada noted that the AFRIMA festival was carefully curated to reflect Africa’s rich cultural diversity, heritage, as well as expose the musicians to different music markets, in line with the organisation’s objectives.

“We need to ensure that every region on the continent is represented in all we do. This is such an exciting moment in African music, and we are proud of the way these artistes have been able to cross over to several markets both on the home front and even globally. This is the crux of what we do at AFRIMA – to ensure we impact upon the artiste’s growth for the good of the continent. We are also excited to see such a stellar lineup that will encourage diversity and make us collectively proud of our rich heritage.”