The fifth edition of the All Africa Music Awards, AFRIMA, in partnership with the African Union Commission, has debuted four new award categories to enjoin inclusiveness and expand the playing field in the awarding process for African music and creative professionals who have begun to send in their entries for the 5th AFRIMA on the online submission portal that opened on Friday, May 25 to commemorate the 2018 Africa Day.
The newly introduced award categories namely African DJ of the Year; Best African Dance/Choreography; African Lyricist/Rapper of the Year and Best African Act in Diaspora (Female & Male), were carefully arrived at after extensive consultations with African music stakeholders which included the AFRIMA Academy of Voters and members of the International Committee of AFRIMA in response to the yearnings and requests of stakeholders, DJ’s, dancers and artistes in diaspora. This process attests to the objective of AFRMA to use the African creative industry to showcase the unique cultural heritage of Africa to the rest of the world while celebrating innovations and diversification in Africa’s contemporary music industry.
AFRIMA awards categories are divided into two: Continental and Regional categories. The Continental Category rewards African artistes in various music genres and forms ranging from pop, hip hop, inspirational, jazz, electro, DJ and more, while the Regional Category celebrates the outstanding achievements of African artistes within their specific region of origin.
African DJ of the Year; Best African Dance/Choreography; African Lyricist/Rapper of the Year and Best African Act in Diaspora all fall under the Continental Category. In addition, the Best African Actin Diaspora is dedicated to artistes with African roots/origin who practice their craft in the international music industry and have prominence and renowned on the international music stage. The artiste’s music style could either be in the traditional or contemporary forms of expression.
Commenting on the welcome development, the Jury Member representing Africa music in the Diaspora (North America), Hadja Kobélé Keita said: “AFRIMA have given African artistes, for the past few years, an opportunity to capture the attention of an extension and comparatively distinct swath of the public, while emphasising on the unique importance of our diverse African musical culture. The addition of the Diaspora category is a direct emphasis on the critical role Africans in diaspora have as the ambassador of our culture on a global scale”.
Music videos, songs or recordings sent to the AFRIMA online submission platform www.afrima.org must be produced, recorded or written (in the case of songwriters) by African music professionals and publicly released within the eligibility period of August 1, 2017 to August 1, 2018. The award is open to music artistes, producers, songwriters, video directors, DJs, choreographers/dancers who stand a chance to win the AFRIMA 23.9k gold-plated trophy in one or more of the awards 36 categories. AFRIMA also has a special AFRIMA Legend Award category which recognises the special lifetime achievements of living or dead African music icon as jointly determined by the African Union, International Committee of AFRIMA and the AFRIMA Jury.
Following the culmination of submission period is the adjudication process where the AFRIMA 13-man Jury will, over two weeks, oversee the thorough and fair screening, categorising and assessment of entries received. The adjudication period ends with the unveiling of the AFRIMA 2018 Nominees List. The 5th AFRIMA with the theme “Africa is Music” will be celebrating the innovative sounds created by African artistes promoting the dynamism of traditional and contemporary African music, while creating a global market for the sustainability of African arts and culture.
Also to be featured as part of 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. There is 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.
The main awards ceremony is slated to come up in November 2018 and it will be broadcast live to 84 countries around the globe.