The third edition of the Africa Music Awards (AFRIMA 3.0) is now behind us, and it is now time to take stock of the event. Here are a few of the takeaways.
Mixed bag on logistics: As is so common with high profile award shows in Nigeria, the event started late. Clearly, event organizers on this side of the world have no respect for the time of others, especially since it was Sunday night. The lighting and sound were dodgy, and the seating arrangements were chaotic. Surely, there are those who can do better.
Broader categories: AFRIMA’s categories are much broader and more diverse than the MAMAs, giving more African artists opportunities for recognition. The nominees per category should be limited to five, preferably, but the diversity was impressive and should be continued.
Props to the Lagos State Government: AFRIMA held with the full support of the Lagos State Government, and the governor himself, Akinwunmi Ambode, was at the event. It looks like LASG has decided to pitch its tent with AFRIMA instead of the bigger MAMAs, but there is one problem.
Why LTV? The show was broadcast live by Lagos Television (LTV), and NTA. No one else. Not Africa Magic, Ebony Life, or even ONTV. That was a big mistake. Who watches LTV in 2016? Really, who? How can you spend all that money, bring all those artistes from around Africa, and put the show on LTV? The picture quality was a disaster, and that station is in serious need of a facelift.
Tributes to Papa Wemba: AFRIMA also covered another area that the MAMAs missed, with the tributes to Congolese musician Papa Wemba, who died in April on stage doing what he loved doing best: Singing and performing. King Sunny Ade and Manu Dibango were also honoured by performances from Diamond Platnumz, Brymo and Aramide. Nice touch.