When the All African Music Awards (AFRIMA) was announced in 2014, not many understood what the dreams and aspirations of its founders were. To critics, it was just another award platform that would probably fade away in a couple of years, especially as it was a continental one.
The organisers, led by its president and executive producer, Mike Dada, said the AFRIMA vision was to unite Africans through the joyous celebration of excellence in music; promote and showcase African artistes and their music to the largely untapped non-African population in Africa and to a global audience; to produce a world class, live performance and television broadcast show that portrays the best of Africa to the rest of the world; recognise distinguished African leaders through the AFRIMA legend awards/special recognition; build emotional bonds between brands and their current customers and potential customers and create value for Africans and deepen brand equity of Africa.
The awards event was established by an international committee, in collaboration with the African Union (AU), to reward and celebrate musical works, talents and creativity around the African continent while promoting the African cultural heritage and its pioneer awards show was held in 2014.
The International Committee of AFRIMA consists of five regions: SADEC, Eastern Africa, Central Africa, Northern and Western Africa, which are run by regional directors and 54 country directors. Public votes determine which artistes get awarded, alongside a jury of experienced African culture, media and music industry experts/professionals.
Nigeria has hosted three of the award editions during 2014–2016. Nigeria once again won the fourth-year hosting rights tenure in 2017. However, the Republic of Ghana was given the right to host in 2018. Hosting rights have returned to Nigeria this year in what is expected to be another epoch event.
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These awards consist of 37 prizes of two categories: region-based awards (covering the five African regions) overseeing the achievements of African artistes within their specific regions of origin and the genre-based continental awards.
Throwing its full weight behind AFRIMA 2019, the Federal Government has promised its full support to make the hosting of the 2019 All Africa Music Awards (AFRIMA) a success, as the country prepares to host the glamorous event in Lagos from November 20 to 23, 2019, with the theme ‘Feel Africa’.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, made the promise during the press parley and unveiling for the awards in Lagos last month saying, “When you look at the All Africa Music Awards, it’s one of the biggest awards for the music industry in Africa and what government had done in the past was to provide the enabling environment for the awards to take place.
“We provided support services for AFRIMA, we gave them the backing they needed and I think it’s on record that the AFRIMA editions that have been held in Nigeria have been among the most successful.
“This year again, we are ready to partner AFRIMA professionally by giving them the maximum support such as effective media coverage and also help them in reaching out to other critical stakeholders,” the minister said.
He said part of the reasons Nigeria has successfully hosted the music awards is because the country has relaxed its visa regime, with the visa on arrival policy, thus making it easier for people to come in.
This year, the awards will be hosted by South Africa-born Pearl Thusi and British-Congolese Eddie Kadi on Saturday, November 23 at the Eko Convention Centre, Eko Hotels and Suites, Lagos, with awards live broadcast to over 80 countries.
With proven top notch screen and stage experience in the media, entertainment and comedy industry within and outside Africa, these two African superstars will bring their expertise and experience to bear while anchoring the programme of events at the star-studded Africa’s biggest music night which will see winners of the sixth edition of the awards emerge.
“I’m so excited, especially as a South African, to be an instrument of love and celebration of the African music industry. African entertainment and all her arts constituents are my biggest passion – learning and growing with them to leave a legacy that is enriching and powerful to the generations to follow. And the annual AFRIMA is the perfect platform for me for this ideal” remarked Pearl Thusi.
In similar vein, Eddie Kadi expressed his eager anticipation to join other African talents in Lagos for the main awards events. “There is no better feeling than being on the continent celebrating our uniqueness. I am always excited to join my brothers and sisters in highlighting the diverse culture and talents we have across every corner of the continent. I would like to thank AFRIMA for this great platform and look forward to a great night in Lagos.