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From AFRIMA, tribute to African music legends


Left-Right, Papa Wemba, King Sunny Ade, Manu Dibango.  PHOTO:   NAN

Left-Right, Papa Wemba, King Sunny Ade, Manu Dibango. PHOTO: NAN

The performance stage of the 2016 All Africa Music Awards, AFRIMA, will come alive on Sunday, November 6, at Eko Hotels & Suites, Victoria island, Lagos, as African music stars line up for pulsating and emotive tribute performances in honour of Manu Dibango, King Sunny Ade and late Papa Wemba, three of Africa’s renowned music legends.

In partnership with the African Union Commission, AUC, and the support of the Official Host City, Lagos State, AFRIMA 2016 grand awards ceremony is preceded by The AFRIMA Music Village on Friday November 4, 2016, a non-stop music concert with over 40 African artistes performing live at the Waterfront, Bar Beach, Victoria Island, Lagos in Nigeria. Thousands of guests expected in Lagos for the various events.

Meanwhile, 82-year-old Cameroonian saxophonist and vibraphone player Manu Dibango, is hailed for making an enormous contribution to African music as a whole. Nicknamed ‘The Lion of Cameroon’, Manu Dibango is recognised for developing a music style fusing jazz, funk and traditional Cameroonian music.

His song Soul Makossa has influenced several popular music hits, including Michael Jackson’s Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin, as well as his recording of that song with Akon, the Fugees’ Cowboys, and Rihanna’s Don’t Stop the Music and Comedian Eddie Murphy in his 1982 parody song Boogie in your butt.

Artiste-in-Residence at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria, King Sunny Ade is classified as one of the most influential musicians of his time. The Nigerian singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist and two-time Grammy award nominee is known for his pioneering of modern world music. His stage performance is characterised by dexterous dancing steps and use of the guitar.

Papa Wemba, the late iconic musician from the Democratic Republic of Congo, who died at the age of 67 on April 24, 2016 during a stage performance in Cote d’Ívoire, also pioneered a blend of African, Cuban and Western sounds which became one of Africa’s most popular music styles. Dubbed the ‘King of Rhumba Rock’, Papa Wemba was also a fashion icon who popularised the La Sape look and style through his musical group Viva la Musica, with whom he performed on stages throughout the world.

Speaking about the purpose of the tribute, President and Executive Producer, AFRIMA, Mr. Mike Dada said: “Contemporary African stars will be pledging their loyalty to these grassroot legends of African music to show the beauty of their music through outstanding performances on stage during the AFRIMA awards. ‘voices of African music and the epitome of Africanness’.

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