By Adedapo Adesanya
The 6th edition of All Africa Music Awards (AFRIMA) in partnership with the African Union Commission, (AUC) has received its highest submissions yet with 8,157 songs/videos on its online portal as entry submission closed on Friday, August 2, 2019.
This year’s submission continues in the record-setting precedent of previous editions amassing the highest number of entries from African artistes, music producers, songwriters, Disc Jockeys (DJs), and video directors among others, since the inception of the biggest music event in Africa.
With 148 entries, the 2019 submissions exceeded the 2018 submissions and out of the 8,157 entries submitted this year as West Africa led the pack with 38 percent of the total entries followed by Southern Africa with 24 percent. Eastern Africa, Central Africa, and Northern Africa regions had 20 percent, 14 percent and 4 percent respectively.
The 13-man International Jury of AFRIMA arrived Lagos, Nigeria on Wednesday, August 7, 2019, for the week-long adjudication process ending on Tuesday, August 13.
They are charged with screening, categorising, assessing, grading and selecting into the 36 different Regional and Continental awarding categories nominees who will vie for the 23.9 carat gold-plated AFRIMA trophy.
In partnership with Eko Hotels & Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos, Nigeria, its hospitality partners, AFRIMA will provide a secure venue for the eminent international jury members who represent the five regions of Africa, the Diaspora (Europe and North America) and the African Union Commission.
The AFRIMA jury member occupying one of the slots for Eastern Africa is Tanzania’s Joett, a veteran vocal coach and artiste development manager whose songwriting skills earned him registered membership of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP). On the other hand, is Tabu Osusa from Kenya. The veteran music professional has spent more than three decades in music production and promotion. He has chaired several musical projects within and outside Kenya.
Representing Central Africa from Democratic Republic of Congo, DRC, is Charles Tabu, a Music Executive, with wide experience in artiste management and promotion. Charles has worked with major record labels across the continent including Sony, Universal, and Warner. The second jury member for Central Africa is Bob Ekukole, a renowned Cameroonian media, and music professional with 29 years of experience in media and broadcasting. He is currently the Director, TV Programmes and Production, Cameroon Radio and Television, CRTV.
Northern Africa is represented by Omar Essaidi, a Moroccan music programmer and artistic director. He brings to bear his practical experience as judge/juror for several musical contests in Northern Africa.
Zimbabwean radio DJ and Lawyer, Delani Makhalima, takes up one of the two slots for Southern Africa. The entertainment & media executive has also honed his professional experience in songwriting and music composition in the region. Filling the other slot is South Africa’s music professional and concert promoter, Chris Syren who is the co-founder and director of Making Music Productions (MMP), a music production company that has played a vital role in music promotion in South Africa.
Western Africa representatives include Olisa Adibua, prolific broadcaster, music executive and talent manager from Nigeria and David Tayorault, a Côte d’Ivoire music legend, whose work in the music industry has influenced the jazz, blues, soul, zouk and Brazilian samba genre in Western Africa countries.
Representing the Diaspora-Europe is Rita Ray, a UK-based BBC Radio 3 presenter, International Music Curator and popular Club DeeJay. Her counterpart representing Diaspora-North America is Hadja Kobélé Keita, a music executive whose career spans experience in Artiste and Repertoire management and Public Relations with Universal Music Africa/Island Africa. The African Union Commission is represented by Angela Martins, the Head, of the Culture Division of the AUC. Mrs. Martins, who is a citizen of Mozambique, is a professional African Culture Analyst and an African music enthusiast.
Speaking on the 2019 entry submission and adjudication process: Mrs Angela Martins, said: “AFRIMA, the Pan-African initiative, and music platform is gaining greater momentum, continental visibility, and recognition. This can be verified by the increased number of entries received for its 6th Edition, to be held in November 2019.
In partnership with the African Union, the awards recognising and rewarding musical creativity and talents of Africans is scheduled to hold in November 2019 during a four-day fiesta of music, glamour, Afrocentricism, and entertainment in the official awards Host City.
The four-day AFRIMA event commences with the Welcome Soiree followed by the AFRIMA Music Village, the Host City Tour, the Africa Music Business Summit, the exclusive Nominees Party and concludes with the live awards ceremony.
Fans of African music globally can follow along and take part in the AFRIMA 2019 events on social media, live stream on the AFRIMA website, the AFRIMA App and by tuning to over 84 television stations which are AFRIMA partners.
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