Afro-pop stars Wizkid, Flavour, Tiwa Savage, Seyi Shay have joined 11 other Nigerian artists unveiled on the nominees list of this year’s edition of All Africa Music Awards, AFRIMA, the continents’ leading music awards.
The highly anticipated Nominees List for the 2016 awards tagged AFRIMA 3.0 was announced on Monday, 22 August, at the Protea Hotel, Ikeja GRA, Lagos.
In attendance at the event were officials of the African Union Commission, members of the 13-man AFRIMA Jury, members of the International Committee of AFRIMA, past AFRIMA winners and nominees, media executives and other stakeholders in the creative/entertainment industries of Africa.
Speaking at the event, Mike Strano, moderator of the adjudication process, said about 2700 entries from African music professionals were received during the period of 20 May, 2015 to 30 July, 2016.
Strano described the nominations process as careful and thorough, while harping on the Jury’s resolve to be fair and transparent.
“The Jury is very careful about being accurate right from the process of verifying eligibility of entries to the process collating and finalising results. It is an evolving process but we work painstakingly at to ensure transparency and fairness,” explained Strano, who is also the Regional Director, Eastern Africa/Co-Producer, AFRIMA.
He added that there are 34 categories of the award but only 10 are released as at 22 August, which are the Regional Categories -the Best Female Artistes and Best Male Artistes of the five regions- while the nominees in the continental categories will follow suit couple of days now.
A new category has been introduced this year. It is the “People’s Choice Award” which comes out from a healthy debate by the International Committee of AFRIMA and the Jury.
Describing the jurors’ experience as rewarding, the Head, Culture Division, African Union Commission, AUC, Mrs. Angela Martins, reiterated the AU and AFRIMA’s objectives of unity among African artistes and the need for continental integration while celebrating its rich music and heritage.
She said, “The adjudication process was very rewarding and as one privileged to be part of the Jury, I was able to discover the widespread talents in the different regions of our beloved continent. Now, that the AFRIMA adjudication has been finalised, we expect that in the coming months, Africans will recognise these nominated artistes by putting in votes for all of them.”
One of the two jury members representing Eastern Africa, Mr. Richard Kawesa, a Ugandan, eulogised AFRIMA’s decision to digitalise its screening process for 2016.
“In the past years, we were using paper to grade but now in 2016, AFRIMA has shown innovativeness with all of us making use of technology, laptops, tablets and mobile devices to screen and grade with ease,” Kawesa said.
Public voting for the nominees in the different categories of the awards will open on 30 August.
In partnership with the AUC and the Official Host City, Lagos State, the AFRIMA 3.0 calendar of events for 4-6 November, 2016 will include the Africa Music Summit on Friday, 4 November, and the AFRIMA Music Village, an open concert-style festival featuring nominees and other top billed music stars.
The grand awards ceremony holds on Sunday, 6 November with over 2,500 guests expected in Lagos, Nigeria for the various events.