After months of intensive deliberations, history was made as Nigeria eventually emerged as the winner of the hosting right of the maiden edition of Africa Music Awards (AFRIMA). The decision was reached yesterday, Saturday October 5, 2013 by the International Committee of AFRIMA with members drawn from different parts of Africa at the prestigious Eko Hotel and Suites, Lagos. Speaking to journalists at a press conference held last Sunday at the Four Points By Sheraton, Lagos, AFRIMA’s Brand Communication and Sponsorship Director, South Africa’s Matlou Tsotetsi said Nigeria was selected to host the much expected pan- African music award among four other countries- Gabon, South Africa, Namibia and Kenya.
One of the factors that aided the decision to give Nigeria the maiden hosting right, according to her, is the booming business of music in the country and its growing entertainment and event- hosting infrastructure. ” We took a lot of factors into consideration before Nigeria was eventually considered and nominated just like we did last year in Namibia before we arrived at the last five countries.’
With the nomination, she disclosed that Nigeria would host the music award aimed at rewarding African music talents for the next three consecutive years, while countries bidding to host after Nigeria would be announced in 2015. The organisers noted that the award ceremony that will be preceded by a two-day Pan African Music Summit is expected to hold on Saturday, October 25, 2014. With a pay off-line, For Hope, For Celebration, AFRIMA will have 24 competitive categories of awards that will be decided by a rich college of judges and online voting.
AFRIMA, which is designed to be the ultimate recognition of African music talents globally has five Regional Directors and 54 Country Directors across Africa to coordinate its activities. As part of the build- up to the award ceremony, a road show tagged ‘On the way to AFRIMA‘ will be held in three major cities of the world- New York, London and Paris and four cities in four regions of Africa. One of the uniqueness of the award, according to the Reginal Director, Eastern Africa and co-Producer of the award, Mr. Michael Strano, is that for the first time in the history of hosting music awards in Africa, songwriters will also be recognised among several other industry professionals. It was also revealed that AFRIMA, which has been designed to work with the African Union to foster unity, peace and love among African nations, will embrace political leaders, cultural icons, members of the diplomatic community and business leaders across the world.
According to the Executive Producer of AFRIMA, Mike Dada, ”AFRIMA will provide opportunities to showcase our strength as Africans for global competitiveness and project our musical and cultural values from our perspectives in an unambiguous manner that reflects our heritage and bright future.” Dada, a noted brands communications expert, added that AFRIMA will further accentuate Nigeria’s preeminent status in cultural and entertainment products in the continent.
AFRIMA will unite African countries with a live broadcast to 84 countries on 109 television stations across the world in English and French languages.