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Jury releases full list of nominees for AFRIMA award

By Chuks Nwanne
01 September 2018   |   4:08 am
As music lovers from across Africa gear up for this year’s All Africa Music Award (AFRIMA), the African Union Commission (AUC) and the international...


Congo DRC’s Gims, South Africa’s Shekhina Lead
As music lovers from across Africa gear up for this year’s All Africa Music Award (AFRIMA), the African Union Commission (AUC) and the international jury have finally unveiled full list for artistes that will compete this year. From the list, which was made available to me media earlier this week, Democratic Republic of Congo-born international artiste Maître Gims and South Africa’s fast rising songstress Shekhinah have received seven nominations each to emerge highest nominated artistes for the award, which is now in its fifth edition.

Closely following the top contenders are Tanzania’s Diamond Platnumz and Ethiopia’s Betty G, who each earned six nominations. Meanwhile, Simi (Nigeria) and Nasty C (South Africa) got on the 5th AFRIMA nominees list with five nominations apiece.

AFRIMA rewards the continent’s music professionals in 36 Regional and Continental categories including four new awards categories namely African DJ of the Year; Best African Dance/Choreography; African Lyricist/Rapper of the Year and Best African Act in Diaspora, introduced in June 2018 by the African Union and the International Committee of AFRIMA to give room for expansion and inclusiveness in the African music industry.

The Regional Category, which consists of Best Female artistes and Best Male artistes in the five regions of Africa, features 79 nominees while the Continental Category which honours exceptional work in different African music genres, boasts of 260 nominees with both categories making up a total number of 339 music professionals and songs nominated for the 2018 edition of the continental awards.

This year, through the 8,009 entries submitted by African music professionals across the globe and the painstaking work of the International Jury of AFRIMA embodied by 13 renowned African music and culture professionals assessing the submitted entries, the 5th AFRIMA nominees list has remained true to the AFRIMA tradition of discovering authentically fresh African voices and music, while also recognising the hard work and diligence of consistent chart topping music makers.

Commenting on the final nominees list for the 5th AFRIMA and how the jury arrived at finding the best musical works within the year under review, AFRIMA Juror representing Eastern Africa, Mr. Tabu Osusa, said, “This year, AFRIMA registered a record number of entries in its competition. We were very pleased to notice that mostly new talents have entered the competition. The 13 jurors had a hard task going through over 8000 talented and creative entries. It resulted in heated sessions and far from unanimous decisions. Being an odd number of jurors revealed to be a blessing allowing us to make decisions by the majority. After a lot of sweat, long discussions and late hours, the jurors designated the best artistes in each given genre. It is now up to the public to go through this process and help to find the new African talents.”

Maître Gims’ has received nods for Album of the Year for his March 2018 released Ceinture Noire album); Artiste of the Year, Best Artiste in African Pop, Song of the Year, Song Writer of the Year, Best African Collaboration and Best Male Artiste in Central Africa.

Similarly, Shekhinah’s seven nominations also gave her a slot each in the Album of the Year category and Producer of the Year for her October 2017 released Rose Gold album); these are as well as Song Writer of the Year; Best African Dance/Choreography; Best Artiste in African RnB & Soul; Revelation of the African Continent; Producer of the Year; and Best Female Artiste in Southern Africa.