The 2014 All Africa Music Awards, (AFRIMA), brought together some of the best talents from the five regions of the continent to the 2014 main award ceremony held on Saturday, 27th December 2014, at the Grand Ballroom, Oriental Hotel, Lagos, Nigeria.
Starting from the red carpet to the stage embellishments, Africa’s enduring cultural heritage and creativity were on display at the highly-anticipated awards ceremony that also welcomed guests which included African Union Commission (AUC) officials, government officials from Federal Ministries of Culture; Trade and Industry and captains of industry across Africa.
The ceremony, produced by PRM Africa, a Lagos-based PR, Brand Communication and Event Production Agency, was conceptualised around African cultural, themes ranging from the rich Egyptian heritage of the Pharaoh era to the earthy depth of the artistically intricate Benin Kingdom, the folklore and oratory skills of the West Africans and the fierce power of the Zulu Kingdom.
AFRIMA 2014 opened with a dramatic appearance on stage of the 11 feet
high ‘Adagbe’ drum; arguably the world’s tallest drum -rhythmically beaten by drummers on stilts while fire breathers brought a fiery glow to the performance.
The capacity audience was further awed by the presence of veteran Nigerian culturist and actor, Pa Peter Fatomilola who emerged on stage to chant a litany of prayers and proverbs in Yoruba language.
The event’s 14 ushers wore the Benin queen and Egyptian queen attires seven apiece, while the 16-man strong security team wore the traditional regalia of Zulu warriors of South Africa to man the event venue and the red carpet area where guests were treated to assorted drinks, finger foods, photo shoots and interview sessions.
The costumes donned by the awards’ hosts, globally renowned African music star, 2Baba Idibia and Togo’s bilingual radio and TV personality, Marisse Akotie, remained true to the cultural concept of AFRIMA 2014.
The event’s first music performance by 2Baba saw him wear the royal outfit of a Pharaoh -a ruler in ancient Egypt- to perform his hit single Odi Ya to backing choreography by 54 children representing the 54 countries on the African continent.
Marisse, complemented 2Baba in her Egyptian queen outfit as she joined her co-host on stage after his performance for the formal opening of the night’s event.
Other sizzling performances came from top African performing artistes such as:
Dear Zim from Zimbabwe; Wiyaala from Ghana; Radio and Weasel from Uganda; Bez,TemiDollface, Niyola, Timi Dakolo, Oritsefemi, Davido all from Nigeria among others.
Nigeria artistes also took home the highest number of trophies, 13 in total, with O.B.O crooner, Davido, carting away four of the coveted 29.3 carat gold-plated AFRIMA trophies.
2Baba won the Best African R’n’B & Soul category endorsed by Channel O, while Afrobeat creator, late Fela Anikulapo Kuti received the AFRIMA Legend Award.
The legend award was presented by the Head of Culture Division, Social Affairs Department, African Union Commission, Mrs. Angela Martins, who also represented the AUC Chairperson at the awards ceremony and received on Fela’s behalf by his first daughter, Yeni Kuti.
Some presenters of awards for the night include: Rikki Stein, international adviser of AFRIMA, UK; Kenny Ogungbe, Nigeria;, Delani Makhalima, Zimbabwe; Peter Mscheu, Tanzania; OJB Jezreel, Nigeria; Tee Mac, Nigeria; Ahmed Soultan, Morocco; Steve
Ayorinde, Nigeria; Davina Green, Zimbabwe; and Richmir Totah, Republic du Benin; among others.
Reacting to the awards won by his artiste, Jonathan Sherren has this to say about AFRIMA, “Wiyaala really appreciates this award, we are proud of her and this is a challenge for her to do more and we promise she will live up to it.
“AFRIMA was bigger than we expected, we will definitely promote AFRIMA in Ghana”.
Wiyaala is from Ghana and she won the Revelation of the African Continent and Most Promising Artiste in Africa awards.
“It was an excellent night. We had fun all the way. Every scene or performance was fabulous. While there is room for improvement, I still find it difficult to believe that this beautiful show happened in Africa. It was awesome! I will definitely make the AFRIMA 2015 with my family and friends”, enthused Emmanuel Satuyi who came from United States of America to see the AFRIMA 2014 in Lagos,Nigeria.
AFRIMA, in partnership with the African Union Commission, is a platform to
reward the creative excellence of African talents and provide a platform to showcase the culture of Africa globally.
The 2014 awards ceremony was supported by ONE.org, Africa 2.0, Nigeria’s Federal Ministries of Industry, Trade and Investment; and Culture, Tourism and National Orientation.
Corporate sponsors are Kenya Airways, Procter and Gamble, Peugeot and Diamond Bank.