AFRIMA Moments African pop stars set Dakar on fire. … How Psquare delighted Senegalese fans and expressed regret for breaking up
Burna Boy, Wizkid, and Davido weren’t present at the award ceremony.
If there is one thing that the tens of thousands of music fans who flocked to the Dakar Arena in Senegal over the weekend won’t soon forget, it is the jaw-dropping performances by some of Africa’s finest pop performers at the recently finished All Africa Music Awards, or AFRIMA.
The glamorous awards event that took place on Sunday night will be remembered. The finest part of the four-day festival, despite other noteworthy events that came before it, were the electrifying performances, and this year’s roster was strong.
The highlight of the evening was seeing Senegalese fans of the Nigerian-born rock duo Psquare reunited with them on stage following their breakup around five years prior.
Their French-speaking supporters, like many other fans of the music pair throughout Africa and beyond, were unable to contain their love and excitement as they witnessed their musical heroes astound them with their trademark dance moves and stagecraft.
In fact, the minute the singing team came out from backstage to finish the event, the 15,000-seat Dakar Arena, burst into an uncontrolled frenzy.
It’s reasonable to conclude that Psquare’s performance that evening was unequivocal evidence that they had reclaimed their former prominence in the African music industry. After years of being apart, the two were performing together on stage, and the audience couldn’t control their enthusiasm. It was an occasion unlike any other.
The pair started the show with “Chop My Money” off their 2015 album “Get Squared” and their 2007 smash song, “Do Me,” starring Waje. They were dressed in white coats over denim.
But when they played “E No Easy” off their 2011 album “The Invasion,” everyone in the room got up and started dancing and singing along. It was in fact a joyful reunion of sorts for P-Square fans in Senegal who had been itching to see their idols share the stage again since their reunion the previous year.
The pair expressed regret to their adoring crowd throughout their performance for their five-year separation.
“Psquare was absent for five years, but Mr. P. and Rude Boy kept the group going. I appreciate your patience, gentlemen. We owe you guys apologies, yet even after we split up, we continued to make music,” the pair said.
After their performance, Mr. P spoke with our reporter and recounted Psquare’s prediction from ten years prior that African music will dominate the global music scene.
“Observe what is occurring right now. We are proud to be among the pioneers since we have popularized African music over the world.
When asked how he missed the years they spent not performing together, Mr. P responded, “It’s normal, but the wonderful thing is that even when we split up, we maintained the name and the team.”
“Like my brother, I helped Psquare remain active while I was performing my solo tunes. But despite the lack of a new album or song, we regrouped. We basically concentrated on traveling the world, which we accomplished. Mr. P made a hint that a new album will be out shortly.
The house was knocked down by Black Sherif!
Psquare was not the only act to dazzle the crowd that evening. Young Ghanaian rapper Black Sherif, Nigeria’s Tiwa Savage, Mali’s Rokia Kone, Viviane Chidi, Wally B, and Senegal’s Youssou N’dour, among other performers, all took turns showcasing what they had to offer on stage.
In instance, Black Sherif briefly took down the house when he sang “Kweku the Traveler,” one of his biggest hits, that night. As long as his enthusiastic performance lasted, he got everyone up and dancing. The young rapper, the lone artist from Ghana to excite the audience that night, was decked out in an all-black leather jacket and pants that were matched by white shoes, and he did not disappoint.
Tiwa Savage is emancipated.
Tiwa Savage performed one of the night’s greatest performances despite not winning an award; she was nominated in the Best Female Act in West Africa category, which was won by Guinean artist Manamba Kanye. But of how well she performed, it was her appearance that won over the audience. The singer had a lovely appearance that had everyone speak about her all night. Even one of the hostesses praised her appearance, adding, “Tiwa, you looked really gorgeous today.” The mother of one looked stunning in an avant-garde skirt and sleeveless top, which emphasized her glowing complexion. She just stated, “I’m visiting Dakar for the first time, your nation is so lovely, even your ladies, I’m very pleased my partner is not here tonight,” at the conclusion of her performance.
heartfelt remembrances of deceased singers
In an emotional tribute, the awards event also included images and video footage of the deceased performers, including Nigerian musicians Sammie Okposo and Osinachi, among others.
Experiences of Somalian women ring true
A solemn time during the performances and festivities called attention to the Somalia problem. Efe Ameh, a female activist, pleaded with the audience to help the Somali people, especially the impoverished women who endure everyday hardships of sexual assault, rape, and hatred in their nation. The episode was a component of the previously publicized collaboration between AFRIMA and the UNFPA’s “#HopeForSomalia” fund-raising drive.
A lack of Nigerian performers at the awards ceremony
Nigerian singers topped the list of winners. But regrettably, none of these celebrities attended the awards ceremony. From Burna Boy, who won the top two prizes for his performance of “Damini”—Best Act in Africa and Best Album of the Year—to Wizkid, who won the Best Act in West Africa prize, to Davido, Nigerian celebrities are infamous for avoiding local award ceremonies for reasons that are best known to them. Nigerian music stars have never successfully embraced AFRIMA as one of their own trademarks.
Recall that Wizkid missed last year’s AFRIMA, which was hosted in Lagos, despite winning three awards: the Artist of the Year award, his song, “I’m Gonna Be,” and two others.
The song “Essence,” starring Tems, won Best African Collaboration and Song of the Year awards. The “Joro” crooner, along with Davido and Burna Boy, were noticeably absent from the well-attended awards ceremony this year. Numerous followers and admirers eagerly anticipated seeing them at the performance, but to no effect. Their absence was conspicuous. Nigeria wouldn’t have been adequately represented at this year’s awards presentation absent Tiwa Savage, Fave, and Psquare. Davido received four prizes, including Best African Collaboration, Best Artist, Duo, and Group in African Electro, and Best Male Act in African Inspirational Music. However, he was not present to accept his trophies. Asake, an Afrobeats artist who won the Breakout Artist award, was also among them.
African pop duo or group with Davido.
Didi B, an Ivorian musician, won the Best Song of the Year prize for his performance of “Tala,” nevertheless.
Manamba Kanye, a Guinean singer, triumphed against Tiwa Savage, Simi, and Tems to win the Best Female Act in West Africa award. Marwan Moussa, an Egyptian performer, also received three prizes for youth music in Africa: Best African Rapper, Breakthrough Artist of the Year, and Best African Hip-Hop Artist.
The largest winner from the previous year, Ibrahim Mahamadou Fily Sissoko, better known as Iba One, won the Best Songwriter prize.
Ismael Lo, a Senegalese singer and actor, was presented with the Legend of the Year trophy.
bringing international audiences to African musicians
Speaking at the occasion, AFRIMA’s executive director, Mike Dada, stated that the organization’s mission is to promote African music worldwide while embracing the variety and culture of the continent.
This is such a thrilling time for African music, and we are happy of the way these musicians have been able to expand to several areas both domestically and internationally, according to Dada.
Since its beginning eight years ago, AFRIMA has only been conducted twice outside of Nigeria, and this was the first time it would take place in a french-speaking nation.
The four-day music festival to honor African music icons came to a close with the awards presentation.