The globally-anticipated nominees list for the 5th All Africa Music Awards (AFRIMA) has been unveiled by the African Union Commission (AUC) and the International Jury of AFRIMA. The list was released during a World Media announcement on Tuesday, August 14, 2018, at the Eko Hotels & Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos with a total of 79 songs making it to the regional nominees list.
Cameroon takes up four of the eight spots in the category for Best Female Artiste in Central Africa, followed by DRC (2), and Angola (2). In the category for Best Male Artiste in Central Africa, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) takes the lead with five spots followed by Cameroon 2 and Chad 1.
From Eastern Africa, the female category Kenya holds three spots while Uganda takes 2 with Ethiopia, Rwanda and Tanzania occupying one nomination slot, respectively. In the male category, Kenya and Tanzania maintain three nominations, with Ethiopia & Uganda registering one nomination apiece.
The Algerian female artistes have a lead ahead of their male counterparts as they took four out of the six spots in the category for Best Female Artiste in Northern Africa, with Tunisia and Egypt holding one spot each. The Male category has Moroccan artistes occupying four of the eight spots, Algeria 2, Egypt and Tunisia earning one nomination each.
The Southern African region is dominated by South African artistes both in the male and female categories, with a total of nine spots, followed by Zimbabwe- 3, while Swaziland, Namibia, Malawi, and Zimbabwe take 1 spot each.
The Western region Male category is having great contenders between Nigeria and Ghana. Holding up 4 spots is Nigeria, closely followed by Ghana (3), while Guinea and Cape Verde hold 1 spot each. The Best Female Artiste in the Western region has Nigeria and Ghana in a tie of 2 spots respectively, with Benin (1), Mali (1), Senegal (1), and Cote d’Ivoire (1).
Spokesperson for the International Jury of AFRIMA and the Programme Director, Cameroon TV and Radio (CRTV), Robert Ekukole (representing Eastern Africa) gave insights into the process by which the entries were reviewed and graded. He explained that tasked with the responsibility of carefully and mindfully sieving through 8,009 entries submitted by African music professionals within the awards validity period of August 1, 2017 to August 1, 2018, “the jury members have no choice but to be thorough and deliberate about their work because we will be doing artistes and creators of these works a great injustice if we don’t accord them the review their works deserves”.
He said the AFRIMA nominees list we arrived at reflects and represents the top-notch creative expressions of music talents and professionals within the relevant regions and validity period. “However, we also have a challenge where some artistes failed to enter for the awards and as such missed the opportunity to be evaluated or possibly nominated for AFRIMA,” he said.
The AFRIMA adjudication is carried out electronically via the proprietary AFRIMA Adjudication Software, which was designed by AFRIMA in 2014, has been deployed for use since the 2015 annual adjudication process.
When public voting opens on the AFRIMA website on Monday, August 27, both continental and regional nominees in the 38 AFRIMA award categories will compete against one another for the coveted 23.9 carat gold-plated AFRIMA Trophy. Nominees will now depend on votes from their fans and followers spread across the globe to vote for their songs in an open voting process via the AFRIMA website, www.afrima.org
From August 7, when the annual adjudication process began, the 13-man AFRIMA Jury worked painstakingly and tirelessly in assessing and grading the submitted entries which was an astronomical increase of 63% against the 2017 entries received by AFRIMA.
Speaking on the parameters considered by the Jury during the adjudication process, Jury member representing Diaspora (North America), Hadja Kobélé Keita, a music executive with work experience in international music companies like Universal Music Africa and Island Africa, reiterated the AFRIMA objective, which is about rewarding and promoting talents and creativity in Africa.
“AFRIMA has specific guidelines they follow in considering musical works that are nominated yearly, besides these guidelines, we also look out for the quality of works submitted. An artiste’s popularity will not influence the Jury’s verdict, just because an artiste has 100 million views on Youtube does not guarantee making the list, unless such works are produced with high quality and represent the continent properly. Other guidelines the Jury considers are the current trends and market position”, she further explains.
The AFRIMA’s open voting process will occur via the AFRIMA website, www.afrima.org. Music lovers will be empowered to decide which artiste/song emerges winners of the 23.9 carat gold-plated AFRIMA trophy.
The 5th AFRIMA is scheduled to hold in November 2018, other activities scheduled for the main awards events is the Africa Music Business Roundtable, a combination of musical conference and trade expo where stakeholders in the creative and arts industry come together to discuss the business of music in Africa, also the AFRIMA Music Village, a music concert and cultural festival that accommodates over 40,000 music lovers across the continent who witness live performances from their favourite African artistes.