Tanzania’s Diamond Platinumz shined brightest as he carted home three 23.9 karat gold-plated trophies at the 2015 All Africa Music Awards (AFRIMA) held at Eko Hotel & Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos, on Sunday, November 15.
The Number One crooner clinched the award for the much-coveted Artiste of the Year category, seeing off stiff competition from the likes of Nigeria’s Yemi Alade, Flavour, Wizkid, Olamide, Davido; Uganda’s Jose Chameleone; Ghana’s rap king, Sarkodie; Charlotte Dipanda of Cameroon; and fellow Tanzanian, Alikiba to win the prize. He also won the award for the Song of the Year with Nasema Nawe and Best Male Artiste in Eastern Africa.
The Nigerian contingent had a good outing at the awards, too, carting home eight prizes including Most Promising Artiste (won by Kiss Daniel); Revelation of the Year (won by YBNL’s Adekunle Gold); Best Female Artiste in Western Africa (clinched by Yemi Alade); Best Male Artiste in Western Africa (won by Olamide); Best Artiste in African RnB and Soul, went to Praiz, crowning an amazing year for the former Project Fame contestant. Darey Art-Alade won Best Male Artiste in Inspirational with his tune Pray for me; Flavour bagged Best Artiste in African Electro with Power to win and Kunle Ayo won Best Artiste in African Jazz with Joromi.
Others winners include South Africa rap acts, Casper Nyovest, who won two awards – Best Male Artiste in Southern Africa and Best Artiste in African Hip Hop and AKA who won Best African Collaboration.
ENCOMIUM Weekly was at the red carpet and we spoke with some of the favourite stars on the awards and sundry issues…
KENNETH OKOLIE, guest
How does it feel being at the 2015 AFRIMA?
It feels good, this is my first time here and I’m looking forward to a good time.
The hype has been quite huge for a relatively new event and the magnitude of people I’m seeing here is wow!
You are looking good, tell us about this look and how long did it take to put it together?
It took about 30 minutes! I thought for an awards, it’s either a black tie or a semi formal look, so I decided to go with it. My suit was made by my designer, Emi Kasbi, my shoes and shirt are Asus. Fashion is a lifestyle, it’s basically about your appearance.
What’s the latest with you?
I’m still shooting movies, doing a number of stuffs and I just launched my security company.
You have your hands in a lot, how do you balance all that?
I make out time.
When should we expect to see a Mrs. Okolie?
No comment on that.
BISHOP TOM SAMSON, guest
Music is life, it cuts across various cultures, even the church. Without music, there’s no church, it’s a way we praise God. And if you look at many of the biggest artistes out there, you’ll realise they started from the church. Also, we have to be mindful of the quality of music we are putting out there, because anything that comes out of Africa, sells Africa as music travels far. We are here to watch the awards presentations and performances, so that where someone is not giving the best, we can constructively criticise.
Music is powerful. Through music you can correct many ills in the society, through music you can pass critical messages to the society. We cannot because of religion overlook music. Music can heal, music can destroy; we are here to make sure our youth are getting good message through music.
ADEWALE AYUBA, guest
How does it feel being at AFRIMA 2015?
This is my second time here and I’m so proud to be here today. I believe this is what we need in Nigeria. AFRIMA is for Africa, it is our own Grammys.
How important are awards to the growth of music?
Sincerely, receiving an award doesn’t mean you are the best, it means you are putting in effort, but go back to your drawing board and keep becoming better.
You look good, tell us about this look.
Thank you. It was made by my friend and very talented designer, Aquadi. He put it all together.
What are you looking forward to tonight?
I’m looking forward to fun, much excitement. As a supporter of African music, I’m just here to have fun.
YCEE, nominee (Best Artiste in African Pop)
I was nominated and hopefully I will win, that’s my number one expectation. Also, I’m just going to enjoy the show, the awards and the performances, to have a great time.
What has it been like since your song, Jagaban became street anthem; have there been changes in your life?
Definitely, there has to be a change. It’s not every day you put out a song and becomes one of the biggest in the country. A lot of things have gone in place, I’ve changed myself as an artiste, my level and all that. It’s been a great ride with shows, performances, increased fans. Big shout out to all of them, they make the work fun, I just feel blessed.
What was it like working with Olamide on the remix of Jagaban?
It was nice, it was really great. Olamide is a really great guy, he has energy, his vibe is always right. We’ve made a great song, we’re hopefully going to make more to just take over.
What’s the next thing for you?
The remix video should be dropping this week I have one more single to drop before the end of the year…
What’s it called?
I can’t say too much about that for now, I like keeping people guessing. Just know something new is coming from Ycee before the end of the year. Next year, we’re putting out an album by God’s grace, more music from Ycee.
What has 2015 been like for you and what are your projections for next year?
It’s been a really busy year. 2016 will be busier. I will be bringing more fire, more vibe. I didn’t come to rest, I came to collect, so watch out!
ADEKUNLE GOLD, Revelation of the Year winner
It feels very good to win the award. Sincerely, I was expecting it, but I was still praying. And I’m thankful to my fans, I don’t like using the word fans, they are my people, they’ve got my back. I’m so happy that I got this award, I’m grateful.
What has this taught you?
In two words, I would say to trust God. I remember about 15 years ago when I met my friends and we formed a band together, the goal was to make music. Though it didn’t work out well, I thank God that I kept at it, deciding to do music alone. It’s remarkable that Sade, the song that won me these awards, is actually a cover of One Direction’s Story of my life. Sade is actually my story and I’ve won a land with it. I was chasing this Sade girl some three years ago and she kept turning me down, I literally begged her. I’m just happy, it feels very good, I could go on and on.
How much does this award mean to you?
It means a lot to me. I’m just one Ikotun boy with a dream that people have said bad things about. People have said I have bad diction and I can’t sing English songs. They said I’m not that strong, but I didn’t let it deter me, I didn’t let it touch my soul. I just kept going, now I’ve won Revelation of the African continent, it’s just God!
FRANCIS ODEGA, guest
It feels great, I feel humbled, proud, it’s a great honour.
What kind of a show are you looking forward?
I’m looking forward to a well packaged event that AFRIMA has always been known to put up.
Are you particularly looking forward to any of the categories?
None really, I support all of the nominees. Anyone that wins, congratulations, and those who did not win, try your luck next time. I just want to see who goes home with awards.
What do you currently have on your hands?
I’ve been working. In fact, I’m even coming from location, so I’m still working.
What should your fans expect from you between now and the end of the year?
The bomb! They should expect explosion from me.
What has 2015 been like for you?
My brother, it’s been awesome, great. God has been there, it’s been so wonderful and that’s how we roll.
What are your projections for 2016?
My team and I are still working, everything is in the pipeline. When it comes out you’ll be the first to know.
When you came up with the Gerrarahia idea, did you think it was going to spread like it has?
Actually, I didn’t. But like I keep saying, God knows best. God did it, when God points his torch at you, even when the enemies remove the batteries, it will keep shining. The Lord did it; hala, I’m outta here!
Finally, what is your message to your fans?
Humility is the name of the game, be humble and have passion for what you do. Believe in God and look up to your mentors, hala!
DJ JIMMY JATT, guest
What are your expectations from the show tonight?
A great and wonderful show.
What part of the show are you particularly looking forward to?
All of them, I’m just here to enjoy the show. I’m here to see people receiving awards
What is the role of awards in music?
It makes artistes step up their game, whether they admit it or not
TIMI DAKOLO, nominee, Best Artiste in Inspirational
What are you looking forward to tonight?
I just came to have fun, trust me.
What do you think about the atmosphere since you’ve been around?
I think AFRIMA has come to stay.
How do you view awards?
It’s like the reward for long suffering.
How does it feel being here?
It’s great, I’m enjoying myself.
What are your expectations?
I’m just here to support Olamide and Adekunle Gold, they were both nominated.
What is the latest with you?
I just dropped my video Is it because I love you featuring Patoranking.
PRAIZ, winner, Best African Artiste in RnB and Soul
The Sisi crooner spoke with us before he clinched his prize, expressing faith.
What are your expectations from tonight’s show?
My expectations for tonight, aside having a great show is to go home with an award.
What part of the show are you most excited about?
Collecting my award (laughs).
How important are awards for artistes?
Awards are very important because they are like a reward for the efforts we put into making music. It’s an encouragement to an artiste.
Tell us about your look tonight.
I no go lie you, I no even cram my look (laughs). But I just wanted to be casual today and not do formal stuff.
We also spoke with a couple of the winners and they shared their joy, at clinching the prizes…
VANESSA MDEE (Tanzania), Best Artiste in African Pop winner
Congratulations on your award.
Thank you so much!
How does it feel?
It’s feels good to know that the work is speaking for itself and people are receiving it, just appreciating it. It’s like a 360 degree moment for me, I’ve gone full circle.
Tell us about the song with which you won the award
The song’s called Hawajui, and it’s a beautiful anthem of upbringing and doing good always, and never repeating bad.
How much does this award mean to you?
It means everything! It’s motivational, it will keep you going.
What should your fans expect from you going forward?
Tonnes of surprises! Thank you to my fans, they are everything.
WINNERS’ LISTARTISTE OF THE YEAR
SONG OF THE YEAR
Diamond Platnumz “Nasema Nawe”, featuring Khadijo Kopa
ALBUM OF THE YEAR
Charlotte Dipanda – “Elle n’a pas vu”
BEST ARTISTES IN AFRICA (RnB & Soul)
Praiz Adejo Nigeria
BEST AFRICAN REGGAE, RAGGA & DANCEHALL
Stonebwoy – Ghana
BEST MALE ARTIST: INSPIRATIONAL CATEGORY
Darey – Nigeria
BEST FEMALE ARTIST: INSPIRATIONAL CATEGORY
Betty Akna – Equatorial Guinea
VIDEO OF THE YEAR
Wiyaala – Ghana
BEST ARTIST IN AFRICAN POP
Vanessa Mdee – Tanzania
BEST ARTIST IN AFRICAN HIP HOP
Casper Nyovest South Africa
BEST ARTIS IN AFRICAN ELECTRO
Flavour – Nigeria
PRODUCER OF THE YEAR
Sauti Sol and Cedric Kadenyi – Kenya
SONGWRITER OF THE YEAR IN AFRICA
Joseph Chameleone – Uganda
REVELATION OF THE YEAR IN AFRICA
Adekunle Gold – Nigeria
MOST PROMISING ARTIST IN AFRICA
Kiss Daniel – Nigeria
BEST ARTIST IN AFRICAN CONTEMPORARY
BEST ARTIST IN AFRICAN JAZZ
Kunle Ayo – Nigeria
BEST MALE ARTIST IN WESTERN AFRICA
Olamide – Nigeria
BEST FEMALE ARTIST IN WESTERN AFRICA
Yemi Alade – Nigeria
BEST ARTIST IN AFRICAN ROCK
M’vula – Kenya
BEST AFRICAN GROUP
Sauti Sol – Kenya
BEST AFRICAN COLLABORATION
AKA(South Africa) and Burna Boy(Nigeria)
BEST FEMALE ARTIST IN SOUTHERN AFRICA
Busiswa Ngoku – South Africa
BEST MALE ARTIST IN SOUTHERN AFRICA
Casper Nyovest – South Africa
BEST FEMALE ARTIST IN NORTHERN AFRICA
Manal – Morocco
BEST MALE ARTIST IN NORTHERN AFRICA
Ahmed Soultan – Morocco
BEST FEMALE ARTIST IN EASTERN AFRICA
Tsedenia Gebremarkos – Ethiopia
BEST MALE ARTIST IN EASTERN AFRICA
Diamond Platnumz – Tanzania
PILLAR OF CULTURE IN AFRICA
Bola Ahmed Tinubu (Jagaban)
- MICHAEL NWOKIKE