Friday, August 11, 2017

AFRIMA 2017 Adjudication Process Concludes in Lagos

Strangely enough, I’m writing this blog post on flight ET 900 from Lagos to Addis Ababa. My nine days in Lagos, where I attended the All Africa Music Awards (AFRIMA) 2017 adjudication process as a member of the Jury, was—to say the least, a bit of a whirlwind. And that’s putting it—well, rather mildly. I remember at the press conference yesterday, when the press, knowing it was my first visit to Lagos, wanted to know of my experience of Lagos. Quite literally, I wasn’t going to lie.

For me Lagos had been a series of back and forth trips from my hotel room; to the boardroom (on the same floor) and the dining room. I never had the chance to sightsee, as it were. We worked back-to-back and flat out into the night to sift through a combination of 4,800 video and audio entries. (I'm sure I'll get to see Lagos some other time).

If I’m honest, I’ve sat on the jury panels for EATV Music Awards and the Kilimanjaro Tanzania Music Awards and it was nothing like this. The sheer volume of entries at AFRIMA was just unbelievable. Not complaining, just reporting the facts. This was WORK! Tons of work.

That being said, it was a wonderful experience and I met some truly awesome individuals on the panel—fellow jurors from all over Africa, whom I now consider family—and the AFRIMA management, who did their very best to ensure that we all had a pleasant stay.

It is quite incredible how the music industry has grown on the African continent. But what truly took me by surprise was how little I knew about what was happening in other parts of Africa. In essence, myself, as well as the other members of the jury were discovering new music from across the African continent every minute every hour. And I think from this point on, I’ll want to stay abreast with the African music scene right across the board as best I can.

We're on the same continent, and yet our music is so diverse. What probably came as a shock was the HUMONGOUS followings North African artists had... some had as many as half a billion views on YouTube! Which is completely unheard of in the rest of Africa. Fascinating.

Well, it’s nice to be home. And I shall now look forward to attending the AFRIMA 2017 Awards Ceremony coming up in November.

Thank you for dropping by.


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