It didn’t matter that it was a night to celebrate African music and honour its artistes. Fans of Zylofon Dancehall artistes, Shatta Wale and Stonebwoy just seized the opportunity to prove which of them is a better artiste at the main awards ceremony of the annual All Africa Music Awards (AFRIMA) which came off at the Accra International Conference Centre (AICC)on Saturday, November 24.
When nominees for the Best Artiste, Duo or Group in African Ragga, Reggae and Dancehall category were mentioned, it was obvious it was a straight the fight between Ghana’s Shatta Wale and Stonebwoy.
The thunderous cheers that greeted the mention of their names set another battle ground for the two rivals to assert their supremacy in the genre.
However, the night was more favourable for the BET Award for Best International Act:Africa winner who beat a strong contest not only from his number one music rival, Shatta Wale but the other notable names such as Nigeria’s Burna Boy, Patoranking, Diamond Platnumz, DJ Moh Green, Jah Prayzah, Roberto, Sauti Sol, Van and Ghana’s MzVee.
In his appreciation message that obviously sought to ‘shade’ Shatta Wale, Stonebwoy accorded ‘respect’ to the other contenders by mentioning all but Shatta Wale’s name and ended with a solidarity message for his “brother from another mother”. A statement that elicited deafening laughter from patrons.
Apart from Stonebwoy, Ghana didn’t disappoint as host of the fifth edition of 2018 AFRIMA which was a collaboration among International Committee AFRIMA, the African Union(AU) and the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Ghana.
In all, Ghana bagged eight awards which is a massive improvement after poor showings since AFRIMA was establised four year ago.
After losing out on the Best Male Western Africa Artiste and Best Female Western African artiste to Nigeria’s Davido and Tiwa Savage respectively, Ghana’s hope on the night yesterday, November 24 was revived when Kuami Eugene won the Most Promising Artiste on the African continent.
Sarkodie’s Glory won Best Male Artiste in African Inspirational Music while KiDi grabbed the Best Artiste in African Contemporary category.
Also making Ghana proud was Guilty Beatz’s Akwaaba. The compilation which features Mr Eazi, Pappy Kojo and Patapaa won two awards—Best African Collaboration and Song of the Year.
That is not all. Shatta Wale’s Gringo video directed by Nigeria’s Sesan won the Best Video award while rapper, M.anifest took home the Best African HipHop Artiste with Me Ne Woaa featuring King Promise.
Davido won the Ultimate African Artiste of the Year .
Although the main event was scheduled to start at 7.30pm on the dot after a three-hour Red Carpet session, it was not until almost 9.00pm when it took off which did not go down well for most patrons who were seen chatting in the foyer of the AICC or hitting the make-shift cocktail bar.
However, when it finally did, the first performance, a beautiful choreography championing African unity and growth compensated for the nearly two hours late start.
There were other great performances from South Africa’s Yvonne Chaka Chaka who also received the African Legend Award, Nigeria’s Tu Baba, Fally Ipula, Mr Real, Ethiopia’s Betty G, King Promise, Wiyaala, Morocco’s Hamza El Fadly, Uganda’s Bebe and Togo’s Too Fan.
Ghana’s young disc jockey, DJ Switch, also thrilled patrons to good sounds from her turntables at the event which was hosted by Ghanaian born US comedian, Michael Blackson, South Africa’s TV personality, Pearl Thusi and Ghana’s media personality, Anita Erskine.
One of the emotional moments at the event was when a special recognition award was given to one of Ghana’s ace musicians, Teddy Osei, leader of the famous Osibisa group, an AfroPop band created in 1969.
The well attended AFRIMA 2018 was graced by Second Lady of Ghana, Mrs Samira Bawumia, Mrs Catherine Afeku, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, government officials, AFRIMA nominees and delegates, African Union officials, members of the International Committee of AFRIMA, media among others.
AFRIMA is an annual award show established by the International Committee AFRIMA, 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.
AFRIMA has been held in Lagos, Nigeria since it was established in 2014. This year is the first time Ghana is hosting the event which was organised in collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture.