It was an unusually cold for an October morning on the 25th less than 24 hours to the 6th edition Afrimma Awards & Music Festival. The Afrimma production team had just rounded up another think, tank session in the quest for producing the best Afrimma edition yet. The team looked in high spirits even if the cold weather had everyone wrapping up warm. There’s a lot of creative processes that goes on behind the scenes in the production of the biggest African music awards in Diaspora. From the selected performers to the red-carpet theme, to the colors displayed on stage. There is a peculiar thought process that goes into the production. This year the Afrimma artwork displayed on the stage wowed people and set tongues wagging. The beautiful artwork illuminated the Afrimma stage all night looking breathtaking and drawing gasps from the audience on sight. Drawing inspiration from the Biblical last supper parable, our Chief creative officer Edem Jimbo created this artwork of some of Africa’s top music stars using the inspiration of the last supper.
This piece is an attempt to explain and piece together to the different parts of the jigsaw and take you into creative thought process of the Afrimma 2019 Awards & Music Festival Artwork.
Fela Kuti (Nigeria) – The iconoclastic Fela Anikulapo Kuti is probably one of the most iconic figures in the history of African music. He pioneered the Afrobeat genre which the current Afrobeats genre draws a lot of inspiration from. He was an avowed human right activist, who’s feat has never been matched. It was only right to have this progenitor of African music on the artwork.
Sarkodie (Ghana) – Ghanaian wordsmith and Africa’s ace rapper Sarkodie comes next. The lyrical dexterity of Sark as he is fondly called is unmatched in the African music industry hence, he earns his sit at the table. Sarkodie’s discography is almost as long as his awards and his ability to fuse his local dialect Twi with English language makes you enjoy him like you understand his dialect.
Babes Wodumo (South Africa) – South African Ggom star Babes Wodumo is one of the hottest female stars from the Southern part of Africa. Her collection of hits in the Ggom genre is impressive and her song was featured on the hit Black Panther movie. Babes Wodumo also has voice credits on numerous projects including Dj Maphorisa, Wizkid and many others. The Mzanzi born star also earns her seat at the table.
Burna Boy (Nigeria) – Damini Ogulu popularly known as Burna Boy is arguably the hottest African music star on the planet. Selling out massive auditoriums all year and shelling out some of the biggest hit songs of the year, 2019 can be safely said to be the year of the Burna Boy. The African Giant roused from his slumber or rather roused the continent from her slumber as he moved rapidly from the most underrated African star to the most talked about African star. Burna Boy won the Afrimma Artist of the Year, BET Best African Act as well as MTV/EMA.
Ommy Dimpoz (Tanzania) – Tanzanian star singer Ommy Dimpoz is an extremely talented act who rose from the. ashes of a medical condition to winning the Best Male East Africa at Afrimma 2019. Ommy documented his inspiring story of overcoming health issues in his music and reenacted the performance at Afrimma 2019.
Sherine (Egypt)– Afrimma is an all-encompassing award ceremony with representation from every part of Africa. The African beauty Sherine takes her seat at the table representing the uniqueness of the North African brand of music. Sherine is one of the most prominent and popular Egyptian musicians. She’s also a TV host and personality considered one of the most powerful and influential in Egypt.
Nipsey Hussle (Eritrea) – This is a tribute to the influential rapper, entrepreneur and community activist of all times. Many people do not realize that Nipsey Hussle is African from Eritrea, his impact in the International music scene set him apart from the others and a lot of people swear by his principles today. Nipsey Hussle had a short time on earth but his impact on the community would last for a long time.
Phyno (Nigeria) – Renowned for rapping in his native Igbo language, Phyno is one of Africa’s illustrious rappers who has shone time and again that his culture is a weapon he draws on for inspiration.
Wiyaala (Ghana) – This uniquely talented artist of Ghanaian descent is one who’s art is unapologetically African. She is beautiful, colorful and combines her native language of Sissala and Waala as well as English in her music. Her music is breathtakingly cultural and is fully immersed in African culture.
DJ Arafat (Ivory Coast) – Ivorien mercurial musician DJ Arafat who sadly passed away this year earns a seat at the table as a tribute and for his impact on the Francophone scene. He was one of the seasoned performers and crowd pullers from the Francophone region and he was widely loved for his hit songs and unique delivery on music.
Yemi Alade (Nigeria) – Mama Africa as she is fondly called is one of the most dynamic artists from Africa. Her fanbase is all over Africa and she has songs in Swahili and French languages catering to her diverse fans. Although, Yemi Alade is still looking Johnny, she has found her feet as one of the most successful female African artists.
Flavour (Nigeria) – Africa’s King of Live Performance Flavour is one of the busiest African acts and his unique performances with his live band has graced most of the biggest stages in Africa. Flavour is one African artist who never goes out of vogue and has stayed relevant through the years with his culture inspired music and breathtaking live stage performances.
Diamond Platnumz (Tanzania) – Diamond Platnumz is one of the biggest star acts from East Africa. He is often dubbed the King of East African music and the Bongo flava exponent. Diamond Platnumz has over the years built a niche for himself as the master of hits, his numbers and following are representative of a real King and his impact on the African music scene. Diamond is simply the number one Artist in East Africa for the past half a decade.
Akothee (Kenya) – One of Kenya’s most successful female artist, Akothee is also a songwriter, dancer, socialite and entrepreneur. Akothee is an extremely strong woman who is also a woman advocate from the Luo tribe of Nilolites. Akothee also earns her sit at the Afrimma table.
Image – Edem Jimbo @edemjimbo
Words – Richard Iroko @richykuzee