AFRIMA 2019: The artists up against Burna Boy, Wizkid and Davido for Artist of the Year Award

The 6th edition of the All Africa Music Awards (AFRIMA 2019) will take place in Lagos from 20-23 November 2019.

AFRIMA is a yearly awards event that was established by the International Committee AFRIMA, in collaboration with the African Union (AU) for rewarding and celebrating musical works, talents and creativity around the African continent while promoting the African cultural heritage as a whole.

The awards include 37 prizes broadly categorised into two groups, the regional category and the continental category.

A. Regional Categories

The regional categories are awarded to artists at the regional level recognising the distinct regions of West, East, North, South and Central Africa, presumably as a nod to the uniqueness of the different regions and styles of music. Perhaps also for inclusion purposes so that every region of the African continent is represented. That way, the awards on any given year is not dominated by one or a few regions.

Some of the awards given out at the sub-regional categories.

  1. Best Female Artiste in Central Africa
  2. Best Female Artiste in Eastern Africa
  3. Best Female Artiste in Southern Africa
  4. Best Female Artiste in Western Africa
  5. Best Female Artsite In Northern Africa
  6. Best Male Artiste in Central Africa
  7. Best Male Artiste in Eastern Africa
  8. Best Male Artiste in Northern Africa
  9. Best Male Artiste in Southern Africa
  10. Best Male Artiste in Western Africa

B. Continental Categories

The continental categories, on the other hand, cater to the level of the continental. In these categories, artists winners for each of the sub-continental category are announced. Invariably, they are also winners at the regional levels. Some of the prizes are also genre-based.

Some the awards are given out at the sub-regional categories.

  1. African Fans Favourite
  2. Album of the Year In Africa
  3. Artiste of the Year In Africa
  4. Best Africa Artiste, Duo Or Group In African Electro
  5. Best African Act In The Diaspora
  6. Best African Collaboration
  7. Best African Dance Or Choreography
  8. Best African Dj

Artist of the Year (AFRIMA 2019)

This year, for the highly coveted Artist of the Year award, Nigeria’s Burna Boy, Wizkid and Davido have been nominated alongside other African heavyweights like Nasty C from South Africa, Diamond Platnumz from Tanzania, Daphne from Cameroon, Prince Kaybee also from South Africa, Tamer Hosny from Egypt and Aminux from Morocco.

All of the artists have had a very good music year but all of them cannot be crowned Artist of the Year although we wonder if it would be possible to award the prize to a couple of them if there were a tie? Something to mull over. In any case, let us now look at each of the artists’ year to see what got them within whiskers of winning the award.

Here we go…

1. Burna Boy

Burna Boy on Genius. Nominated for Grammy award and Afrima best African act

Damini Ebunoluwa Ogulu who goes by the stage name ‘Burna Boy’ is a Nigerian singer and songwriter who had his breakout in the Nigerian music industry in 2012 after the release of Like to Party, the lead single from his debut album titled L.I.F.E. Burna Boy waw nominated for his song Gbona which was released in 2018. The has over 28 million views on YouTube.

2019, undoubtedly, can be described as the best music year so far for Burna Boy. Just yesterday, Wednesday 20 November 2019, news broke that the Burna has been nominated for a Grammy Award under the World Music category.

The announcement caps what has so far been a phenomenal year for the African Giant singer. He recently beat Teni and other African heavyweights to grab the Best African Act Award at the 2019 MTV Europe Music Awards on 4 November. That was also the same day he sold out the Wembley Arena – one of the biggest venues – in London. Which incidentally is also one of the venues he has sold out in 2019.

He has been featured on many of the prestigious American TV shows that the majority of African artists don’t even picture in their imaginations. One of his songs; the title track of his African Giant album got featured on Ballers – a popular American TV series and he recently got featured on the soundtrack for the soon to be released Queen and Slim, another American movie. Burna Boy was also the only Nigerian artist that has a solo track titled Ja Ara E, in Beyonce’s curated album, Lion King: The Gift.

Since the announcement on the 3rd of January announcing him as one of the artists to perform at the 2019 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, the year has continued to be juicy for Burna. Just 2 days later (5 January) he won four awards at the Soundcity MVP Awards.

He also won the BET Best International Act Award in June, got announced as Apple Music’s Up Next artist in July, got featured on Beyonce’s Lion King album in that same July just before he dropped his wave making African Giant album. An album that sits on a solid foundation of back to back hit singles like Gbona, On the low, Dangote, Killin Dem, Anybody and Pull up and other great songs that even highly notable figures like Elton John, Joe Budden, GQ, Complex and many others had to publicly endorse.

Burna Boy also recently benched both Wizkid and Davido to win the Artist of the Year award at the 2019 Headies that was held in October.

Would the self-acclaimed “African Giant” flog them again alongside these other African heavyweights to win the 2019 Artist of the Year’ award at AFRIMA 2019?

It doesn’t really matter what unveils. It doesn’t stop the logical conclusion that 2019 is the ‘Year two thousand and Burna Boy“.

2. Wizkid

Wizkid, whose real name is Ayodeji Balogun, is a Nigerian singer and songwriter who hit the limelight in 2010 with the release of his song Holla at you boy after he was signed to Banky W’s record label, Empire Mates Entertainment (E.M.E).

Wizkid is nominated for the Artist of the Year Award for his song, Fever which was released in October 2018. The song currently has over 43 million views on YouTube.

He is one of the most decorated African artists with two BET Awards, three MOBO Awards, eight Headies, two Channel O Music Video Awards, six Nigeria Entertainment Awards, four Soundcity MVP Awards, three Billboard Music Awards, four MTV Africa Awards, two MTV Europe Awards and many more.

In 2016, Wizkid broke out completely into massive international recognition when One Dance, his global hit collaboration with Drake hit the number one spot in about 15 countries including the US, UK, Canada and Australia. He got signed to RCA Records in March 2017 and ever since, the story has ever been up and up for him. He is the youngest African artist to be nominated for Grammy. He even has a day named after him in Minnesota, USA!

2019 is surely another ‘better than good‘ year for Wizkid.

On July 23, Beyonce released her Lion King album which features her collaborative song with Wizkid, Brown Skin Girl. The song became an instant hit and just this week, Wizkid along with Beyonce, Blue Ivy Carter – Beyonce’s daughter snatched the Songwriter Award at the 2019 Soul Train Awards held on 17 November 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA.

On 2 July, just a few days after the release of Beyonce’s album, Wizkid signed an endorsement deal that he described on his Instagram handle as the “biggest deal for Africa” with UBA (United Bank for Africa).

He released two new singles in September before he embarked on start shutting down some of the most respected venues in Europe including the 20,000 capacity O2 Arena in London and Le Dock Pullman in Paris with his sold-out Starboy Fest in October.

And just as October was about to round off, the real African star boy was announced as a Soul Train Music Awards nominee on October 29; making him a three-time nominee for the prestigious award.

He was nominated in 2016 for the Rhythm and Bars category, for One Dance and for Best Dance Performance in 2017 for his song Come Closer – both collaborative efforts with Drake. As the saying goes, third time is the charm, Wizkid won a Soul train award in the Best Collaboration and the Songwriters’ Award categories, all for his collaborative song with Beyoncé, Brown Skin Girl.

Will the Starboy win or lose the AFRIMA 2019 Artiste of the year prize? We can’t wait to find out.

3. Davido

David Adedeji Adeleke, professionally known as Davido, is a Nigerian singer, songwriter and record producer under his own record label, DMW. He rose to limelight in 2011 after the release of Dami Duro; the second single off of his 2012 debut album O.B.O.

Davido is nominated for the Artist of the Year Award for his song, Wonder Womanreleased in December 2019. The song currently has over 12 million views on YouTube.

Davido is a great achiever. He is also one of the most nominated and decorated artists in Africa with two BET Awards, one Kora Award, one Channel O Music Award, two  MTV Africa Awards, five Headies Awards, seven Nigeria Entertainment Awards, two MTV Europe Awards,1 MOBO Award and many others.

2019 is surely an “A Good Time” for Davido as he confirms with the title of his upcoming album.

Davido started the year in a grand style with his landmark achievement of selling out The O2 Arena in London on 27 January.

Followed by his remarkable success of breaking into the US music industry after a series of massive, relentless and intentional efforts, which his songs getting massive airplay across the US and eventually making it to the Billboard Charts. Fall peaked at #13 while 2 AM (his collaborative effort with Casanova and co) peaked at #41.

Then, in July, he featured Chris Brown on Blow My Mind and the song was an instant success. The video for Blow My Mind got more than 1M views on YouTube under 24hours of release. He dropped Risky featuring Popcaan on 23 October and it also became an instant success.

Davido has graced the stage with major artists on various shows in the US with loud ovations from the crowd and it seems like the “show-killing” DMW boss is just getting started.

The DMW boss is surely having a good time and the numbers are showing it. He is also nominated in five other categories at AFRIMA 2019.

4. Nasty C

Nsikayesizwe David Junior Ngcobo, who goes by the stage name Nasty C, is a South African rapper, songwriter and record producer. He gained public recognition after releasing Price City, his mixtape that produced the successful single, Juice Back in 2015.

Nasty C was nominated for the song SMA Ft. Rowlene. The song was released in March 2019 and currently has over 9 million views on YouTube.

Nasty C got into the rap game since the age of nine, having been influenced by his elder brother who was a producer at the time. He is considered as one of the biggest artists in the South African music industry. He has endorsement deals with international giants like Puma, Mercedes-Benz and RedHat.

Nasty C tops the nomination list for AFRIMA 2019 with nine nominations. His nominations include Best Male Artiste in Southern Africa, Artiste of the Year in Africa, Song of the Year in Africa, Producer of the Year in Africa, Best African Rapper/Lyricist, Best African Collaboration, Best Artiste, Duo or Group in African Hip-Hop, Songwriter of the Year in Africa and Best Artiste, Duo or Group in African R’n’B and Soul.

Nasty C was also one of the nominees that lost the MTV EMA 2019 Best African Act Award to Burna Boy.

He was also nominated at the BET 2019 alongside Falz, Sarkodie, Tory Lanez (Canada), OG Ghetts (UK) and Little Simz (UK) in the newly introduced Best International Flow category, which was won by Sarkodie.


5. Diamond Platnumz

Nasibu Abdul Juma, professionally known as Diamond Platnumz is a Tanzanian artist, dancer and businessman. He became the first African artist to get 2,520,778 subscribers on YouTube and he is considered to be one of the highest income-earning artists in the African Great Lakes region’s music industry. He owns a TV and a radio station in Tanzania and he is a brand ambassador to multinational heavyweights like Vodacom, Coca-Cola, DSTV and Red Gold.

Diamond Platnumz was nominated for the Artist of the Year award for his song, Kanyaga released in June 2019 and currently and which currently has over on YouTube.

Diamond has been nominated for about 28 awards both on the local and international level and he won 22 out of the nominations including the MTV EMAs Best African Act in 2015. At the time, he beat other heavyweight champs like Davido (Nigeria), Yemi Alade (Nigeria), AKA (South Africa) and DJ Arafat (Ivory Coast) to the award. He also won the Best World Act (Africa/India).

He has collaborated with international heavyweights such as Chris Brown, Rick Ross, Neyo, Omarion and many African giants including Wizkid, Davido, Tiwa Savage, Pato Ranking, Cassper Nyovest, Flavour, Rayvanny, Fally Ipupa, Jah Prayzah, P-Square, Kizz Daniel and Vanessa Mdee.

Will Diamond Platnumz, who seems to have a knack for award-winning, win the AFRIMA 2019 Artiste of the year award? We can’t wait to find out.

6. Daphne

Daphne, full name Daphne Njie Gundem, is a Cameroonian singer who grew up in the coastal city of Douala in Cameroon. She studied Psychology and Law at the University of Buea. She is best known for some of her hit songs including Ndolo, Promets Moi, My Lover and Calee.

Daphne is the sole female nominated for the Artist of the Year Award. She is nominated for the Artist of the Year for her song Ne Lâches Pas, which was released in January 2019 and which currently enjoys over one million views on YouTube.

During her undergraduate days, she started out as a studio backup singer for other artists before she proceeded to record her first project Rastafari, in 2013. Since then, she has since continued to churn out good music. Her music style has been described as a blend of pop, Afropop, Afrobeats, reggae, makossa, hip-hop and urban music in general.

In 2017, she was nominated for various national and continental awards including AFRIMA and KORA Awards.

One of her hit tracks, Jusqu’à la Gare, earned her a trophy at AFRIMA 2018 as the Best Female Artiste in the Central African sub-region making it the second time she has won that same award. She’s also one of the nominees for that category at AFRIMA 2019.

7. Prince Kaybee

Kabelo Motsamai, known by the stage name Prince Kaybee, is a South African DJ and musician. He is best known for his songs Friend Zone, Wajellwa and Yonkinto. He gained prominence when he took part in, and won, the second season of South African Broadcasting Corporation 1 (SABC 1) talent search programme 1’s and 2’s.

Prince Kaybee is nominated for the Artist of the Year Award for his song, Banomoya Ft. Buslswa & TNS. The song was released in October 2018 and currently enjoys over million views on YouTube.

Kabelo Motsamai is a South African DJ and musician. He is best known for his songs “Friend Zone”, “Wajellwa,” and “Yonkinto.” He gained prominence when he took part in, and won, the second season of South African Broadcasting Corporation 1 (SABC 1) talent search programme “1’s and 2’s”.

His father had almost 40 children and he is the youngest child from his father and his mother’s only child.

Prince Kaybee is one of the artists dominating the South African music scene and 2019 surely looks like another good year for him. His latest album, “Re Mmimo”, recently went platinum and garnered 56 million streams just two months after its release. On May 2, 2019, he was also announced as one of the ambassadors for Courvoisier Cognac.

Prince Kaybee was also among the nominees Burna Boy benched to grab the MTV EMA 2019 Best African Act Award.

Can Prince Kaybee switch the game at AFRIMA 2019? Time will tell answer that question.

8. Tamer Hosny

Tamer Hosny is an Egyptian singer, actor, composer, director and songwriter. He launched his solo career in 2004 with his album “Hob” which became a huge success and earned him the nickname “Star of Generation” from his fans.

Tamer Hosny is nominated for the Artist of the Year Award for his song Naseny Leh, which he released in February 2019 and which currently has over 70 million views on YouTube.

He is the first singer from the Middle East to collaborate with international heavyweights like Shaggy, Snoop Dogg, Pitbull and Akon. He also featured on the charity single Bogra-Tomorrow that was released in 2011 alongside Shakira, Rim Nanna, Akon, Diana Karazon, Marwan Khoury and others.

Tamer is very well decorated; with 38 awards including a World Music Award and the Big Apple Music Award where he was crowned The Legend of the Century.

He is a brand ambassador for Pepsi, Vodafone and Police (sunshades).

Will this “Legend of the Century” be crowned the winner of the AFRIMA 2019 artist of the year prize or not? There are only a few more days to find out.

9. Aminux

Amine Temri, known by the stage name Aminux, is a Moroccan R&B singer. Born in Tangier, Morocco, he holds a degree in Electrical Engineering from the Faculty of Science and Technology of Tangier and a high-level graduate engineer in the same institution. He has been a singer since 2007 and leader of the R&B music in Morocco.

Aminux is nominated for his song Bini W Binek, which was released in July 2019 and which enjoys over three million views on YouTube.

The singer has been a member of the T-Clan Rap band since 2008 and started his solo career in 2009, but this time with his new Moroccan R&B style, which is inspired by American music as well as the French 90s oldskool, but with an Arab touch.

Aminux is one of the most popular Moroccan artists on YouTube with tens of millions of views. He has headlined all the major festivals in the region including Mawazine, Timitar and Mahrajan El Zayton Klmeim.

Can Animux snatch away the AFRIMA 2019 artiste of the year award?

Final Words

The Artiste of the Year prize falls under the ContinentalAawards. It is believed by many as the most remarkable AFRIMA award. It’s as good as saying the winner is the best artiste in the whole of the African continent.

So, the tough question is who will this be in 2019? Burna Boy? Wizkid, Davido? Nasty C? Diamond Platnumz? Daphne? Prince Kaybee? Tamer Hosny? Or Animux?

On the night of 23 November 2019, we will surely have the answer, but before then, do feel free to make your predictions.

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