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AFRIMA 2017… Lagos hots up, with unveiling of nominees


President/Executive Producer of AFRIMA Mike Dada (left), Chris Syren, Hadja Kobele Keita and Bob Ekukole at the unveiling in Lagos

Voting Begins August 21
With the formal unveiling of nominees for this year’s All Africa Music Award, organisers have set the tone for this year’s showpiece, as Lagos prepares to host Africa once again. Held at the Renaissance Hotel, GRA, Ikeja, Lagos, the unveiling ceremony, which brought together stakeholders in the African music industry, African Union Commission and the 13-man Jury of the All Africa Music Awards, AFRIMA, unveiled the Nominees for one of the continent’s biggest music awards.

The 13-man international Jury of AFRIMA, which represents the five regions of Africa, the Diaspora and the African Union Commission, had arrived Lagos on Tuesday August 1, for a weeklong adjudication process for the awards’ fourth edition.

The team had experienced music professional such as Charles Tabu, a versatile Congolese music manager, representing Central Africa, alongside Cameroonian media executive Robert E. Ekukole. Southern Africa representatives include Delani Makhalima from Zimbabwe and Christian Syren from South Africa.

Others are Western Africa representatives David Tayorault, the Ivorian composer of many rave songs such as Coupe Decale, Zouglou and Yousomba, as well as Nigeria’s Olisa Adibua. Tanzania’s Joett, a 90’s music comeback buff, composer and member of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers will sit in for Eastern Africa in addition to Tabu Osusa, CEO of Ketebul Music, who is one of Kenya’s music authorities.

Representing the Africans-in-Diaspora realm are Hadja Kobélé Keita, a US-based music executive with Universal Music Africa/Island Africa and Rita Ray, a UK-based BBC Radio 3 Presenter and popular Club DJ. Moroccan Omar Es Saidi is representing Northern Africa and Angela Martins, sits in for the African Union Commission, AUC.

The adjudication process includes screening, categorising, assessing and selecting nominees from the total of 4,816 works submitted for 2017 awards consideration from African music artistes, songwriters, music directors, producers and entertainment journalists at the closure of the two-month entry submission window in July this year.

According to Mr. Chris Cyren, the juror from Southern Africa, 4,816 entries from African music professionals and music artistes were received at the close of a two-month entry submission window on July 17 this year. He described the nominations process as rigorous and thorough, as he emphasized on the Jury’s resolve to be fair and transparent in line with the AFRIMA values of FACEIT (fairness, authenticity, creativity, excellence, integrity, transparency).

On his part, Charles Tabu, AFRIMA’s juror from Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), harped on the need for music lovers in Africa to explore different genre of music from all regions on the continent.

On the criteria for selecting the nominees, Mr Bob Ekukole from Cameroon reiterated that, “the nominees were picked based on production quality, talent and creativity, melody, originality and authenticity, composition and arrangement. It has to do with the quality of music not on the number of views from any online video platform. Some songs from certain regions have more than half a billion views and would have garnered the awards based on such sentiment, but it is not so. It has to do with quality,” he explained.

Ms Angela Martins, Head, Culture Division, African Union Commission, AUC, said the adjudication process was a comprehensive and superb work of the jurors. She also noted the great improvement of the submissions this year, as it is more impressive than previous years.

‘’This robust submission this year clearly shows the appreciation and recognition of the music awards. The African Union Commission is geared towards investing in the youth by involving them in the African Union’s 2063 Agenda, which intends to make the youth evolve a desire and expertise in the needed developmental facets of Africa in all areas She also reiterated the AU and AFRIMA’s objectives of unity among African artistes and the need for continental integration while celebrating its rich music and heritage,” she said.

The Best Female Artistes and Best Male Artistes of the five regions have been released while the nominees in the continental categories will be release later.

For the Best Male Artiste in West Africa category, Nigeria’s Tekno, Runtown, Davido, Wizkid, Ycee and Mr Eazi will slug it out with DJ Arafat from Cote D’voire, MHD from Guinea and Sarkodie from Ghana. In the female category, Aramide, Sey Shay, Tiwa Savage and Yemi Alade will face Ghana’s Becca, Mali’s Oumou Sangare, Zeynab from Benin and Viviane Chidid from Senegal.

Public voting for the nominees in the different categories of the awards will open on August 21,2017 on

In partnership with the AUC, a range of rich and exhilarating events for The AFRIMA 2017 such as the Music Village and the AFRIMA Music Business Summit are slated on November 10-12,2017 and will be broadcast across 84 countries around the world.

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