AFRIMAs president calls for more collaboration among African artists

Dada made the call during a recent courtesy call by Cameroon artist KO-C and Burkinabe singer Miss Tanya to AFRIMAs’ secretariat in Lagos, Nigeria.

Dada, who is also the executive producer at AFRIMAs, said that the diverse musical landscape of Africa provides a unique platform for artists to collaborate, creating exceptional works reflecting the continent’s cultural richness. He urged artists to utilise AFRIMAs’ platform for fostering connections and partnerships, contributing to the growth of the creative industry and the continent’s economy.

He described this as a key driver for the growth and global recognition of African music. “We believe in the power of music to bring people together, transcending linguistic, cultural, and geographical barriers,” Dada said. “AFRIMAs believe that collaborative efforts can contribute not only to the advancement of individual artists but also to the collective elevation of African music on the global stage. We have championed this narrative for years and we are happy that stakeholders across the continent have keyed into it, which is evident by the acceptance of our craft by the global audience. However, we think there is still room for improvement – we can still tell more of our story through more collaboration, and we can also learn from one another.”

KO-C, best known for his single ‘Himself’, lauded AFRIMAs’ transparency, while Miss Tanya praised the scheme for its role in elevating African music globally.

 “AFRIMAs have consistently showcased the incredible talent that Africa possesses. As an artist, being recognised by AFRIMAs is a tremendous honour,” Tanya said. “It’s a platform that allows us to connect with a broader audience and celebrate our unique musical identities.”

According to Dada, the AFRIMAs are not just an award institution but a unique platform committed to addressing challenges plaguing the continent through the implementation of its core values.

“There are core pillars of AFRIMAs, which is why we are different from other platforms: the music award, the music festival, the Africa Business Summit and the music academy. However, for instance, there is currently a lack of proper set designers and music production facilities in Africa. People learn on the job, as there is no proper school or academy where they can learn in a structured manner. We created the music academy to address this issue.

“Advocacy is another important pillar of AFRIMAs. We believe that music is not just for entertainment but also a platform to raise concerns about issues in Africa. We use music to encourage stakeholders to voice their concerns. We also draw attention to issues such as child education and health infrastructure and call on governments across Africa to take action.

“Talent discovery and growth are other pillars of AFRIMAs. The main difference between artists in Europe, America, and Africa is the lack of access to facilities. Many artists in Africa have to write, produce, publish and distribute their music themselves, without access to proper facilities. To address this, we have partnered with studios so that artists can record their three-minute songs and make videos for free. We then showcase these videos to the rest of the world through our media platforms, and an investor or record label might hear the music and be interested. We are also advocating for legislation that can allow artists to use their intellectual property as collateral for loans to produce and promote their work.”

BridgeAfric president Victoria Nkong, who was part of the entourage to AFRIMAs headquarters, reiterated the need for more collaboration among African artists, especially between the Francophone and Anglophone divide.

“These collaborations are crucial for the growth of music in Africa,” she said. “Through this process, artists can learn a lot from their colleagues in other countries. Governments are unlikely to do much for us, so we have to take the initiative and develop our sector ourselves.

“I always encourage artists from other countries to follow Nigeria’s example with the way they are pushing Afrobeats to a global audience. The success of Nigerian music is the result of efforts from stakeholders, and we can replicate that success across Africa,” Nkong, whose Bridge Afric is creating opportunities for artists in Africa to showcase their talent beyond their countries, said.

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