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Seyi Law, Doris Simeon, Jaywon & More Grace TUSH Awards 2015

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By: Akanji Olatunde

The 2015 edition of the annual youth and student awards, All Youths Tush Awards (AYTA) better known as TUSH Awards was held last Sunday at the Lamborghini Event Centre, Lekki, Lagos.
Put together by TDA Multimedia, the awards in its 7th edition witnessed the attendance of popular faces such as Former Oyo State Commissioner of Youths and Sports, Hon Dapo Lam-Adesina, Biodun Kupoluyi, Doris Simeon, Seyi Law, Jaywon, Ushbebe, Still Ringing, Jumoke Odetola, Caroline Danjuma, and many others.

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AFRIMA entry submission opens today for Africa Day commemoration

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Following the recent unveiling of calendar of activities for the 2018 edition of the All Africa Music Awards (AFRIMA) in Accra, Ghana, which included a courtesy visit to the President of Ghana, H.E. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo by officials of African Union, International Committee of AFRIMA and African music stars, entry submissions for the annual continental music awards opens today, Friday, May 25 in commemoration of Africa Day.

From May 25 to August 1, 2018, the 5th edition of AFRIMA will be receiving on its online portal www.afrima.org, works, songs and videos recorded or produced by African music professionals and publicly released within the eligibility period of August 1, 2017 to August 1, 2018. These entries will compete for possible nomination by the AFRIMA Jury in one or more of the 36 categories of the awards.

The AFRIMA Jury, consisting of 13 members, with vast experience and practice in African music and culture is charged with overseeing the AFRIMA Adjudication process to ensure a thorough and fair screening, categorizing, assessing and selecting process of AFRIMA 2018 nominees. Nominees are expected to emerge to populate the Regional and Continental awarding categories of AFRIMA in different genres of music ranging from African contemporary to electro, traditional, reggae/ragga/dancehall, hip-hop, R n B, rap and rock.

Furthermore, AFRIMA uses the onset of the 2018 entry submissions to commemorate the 55th edition of Africa Day, a day set aside annually by the African Union Commission to strengthen the idea of unity among African countries. One of the objectives of AFRIMA is to celebrate Africans who channel their energies towards various acts of dynamism in the creative industry and contribute tremendously to the growth of the social environment.

Music and arts have been one of the core proponents where Africans have successfully shown immense passion. From the days of traditional folklore to the present day transition of music into the modern studio recorded album, Africa has produced world record holders in the music industry, where music is not only used to promote cultural heritage, but also for education and entertainment.

Music artistes, managers, producers, record label owners, recording companies, video directors, publicists and entertainment/music journalist are eligible to submit their works or submit on behalf of their clients in any of the relevant award categories. Further details on entry submission guidelines are available on the AFRIMA website – www.afrima.org.

In partnership with the African Union, the All Africa Music Awards is a music property that recognises and rewards the work and talent of a myriad of African artists from the old to the new generation of musicians. Through its conference, AFRIMA also stimulates conversations among Africans and between Africa and the rest of the world about the potential of the creative arts for real humanising enterprise on the continent, contributing significantly to social cohesion, national, regional and continental integration as well as sustainable development in Africa. Annually, the award show is broadcast to over eighty countries around the world.

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AFRIMA 2018: AU Unveils Calendar in Accra,President Nana Akufo-Addo embraces AFRIMA,Submission of songs to commence on May 25

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The All Africa Music Awards, AFRIMA, experienced the warmth of the music and culture industry of Ghana on Monday, May 21, 2018 when the calendar of events for the 5th edition of the biggest awards event on the continent was unveiled by the African Union following a meeting and courtesy visit to His Excellency, the President of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.

Welcoming the visiting delegation led by the Head of Culture, African Union Commission, Mrs. Angela Martins, at the Presidential Office, Jubilee House, Accra, His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, lauded the initiative of AFRIMA in conceiving a platform that showcases Africa positively to the world through the creativity of the music talents and the distinctive African cultural heritage.

“The people of Ghana are proud to host the 2018 AFRIMA World Media Calendar Unveiling event and to receive the delegation of officials of AU and AFRIMA as well the talented artistes and the media. I’m excited to hear AFRIMA is engaging the rest of the world on an intellectual platform with conferences and the music awards. We hope you have had a remarkable experience of Ghanaian hospitality. Our hope is that we will host the main awards ceremony”, the President stated.

Other officials of the government of Ghana who received the AU-AFRIMA delegation included the Honourable Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Hon. Catherine Abelema Afeku; Executive Secretary to the President, Nana Asante Bediatuo; Principal Personal Assistant to the President, Saratu Atta:  Chief Director, Ministry of Tourism, Arts & Culture, Dr. Joel Sonne; Director, Tourism Council, Ghana, Chief Nana Anim and celebrated Ghanaian music artistes such as veteran Nana Kwame Ampadu who joined artistes from other African countries for the courtesy visit.

The President further prompted the Honourable Minister of Tourism, Catherine Afeku to see to the completion of the formalities required to enable Ghana ratify the Charter on African Culture Renaissance.

Earlier, while delivering the AU’s remarks to President Akufo-Addo, Mrs. Angela Martins expressed gratitude to the government and people of Ghana for the commitment and support displayed towards hosting the 2018 AFRIMA Calendar Unveiling.

“We cherish the partnership with the government of Ghana since it will enhance the pan-African nature of the AFRIMA initiative. The AU also uses the AFRIMA platform to voice key messages related to the Arts and Culture and other social issues for example the campaign on Ebola in 2014”, she buttressed.

The international Committee of AFRIMA was represented at the courtesy visit by President/Executive Producer, AFRIMA, Mr. Mike Dada; Director, Brand Communications, AFRIMA, Ms. Matlou Tsotetsi; AFRIMA Regional Director, Central Africa, Mr. Ernest Ewane; AFRIMA Regional Director, West Africa; Mr. Don Obilor; AFRIMA Co-Producer/Country Director Nigeria, Mr. Kingsley James; AFRIMA Country Director Ghana, Mr. Francis Doku, AFRIMA Jury Member (West Africa), Mr. Olisa Adibua and AFRIMA Consultant, Regional Partnerships and Sponsorship, Dr. Bukola Bello-Jaiyesimi.

Meanwhile, the Calendar Unveiling of the 5th AFRIMA took place later in the day at the Movenpick Ambassador Hotel in Accra where the theme of the awards “Africa is Music” was also revealed to the large gathering of African and international media.

The ceremony, well-attended by record label owners, culture industry practitioners and music artistes such as Sarkodie (Ghana); 2Baba (Nigeria); Victoria Kimani (Kenya); Becca (Ghana); Ahmed Soultan (Morocco); Stanley Enow (Cameroon); Seyi Shay (Nigeria); Emtee (South Africa); Falz (Nigeria); Fancy Gaddam (Ghana); Stanley Adjetey (Ghana); Dark Suburb (Ghana); Zeynab (Republic of Benin) and Jah Phinga (Ghana), among others, featured a two-part interactive discussion session on the theme “Enhancing Music Business in Africa”.

This conference preceded the formal unveiling of the 2018 AFRIMA Calendar by Mrs. Angela Martins and Director, Brand Communications, AFRIMA, Ms. Matlou Tsotetsi, The 5th AFRIMA Calendar details build up and main events activities leading up to the 5th AFRIMA Main Awards ceremony slated for November 25, 2018. Build up events include musical conferences and concerts around the different regions of Africa but more importantly, on May 25 (Africa Day), the 2018 AFRIMA opens the call for submission of works/song by African music professionals released within the eligibility period to compete for possible nomination in one or more of the 36 categories of the awards. The submission will end on August 1, 2018

Panel discussants including Ghanaian artistes and artistes from different African countries and culture/creative industry executives, professionals and practitioners discussed the challenges faced by the creative industry in Africa while also proffering inventive solutions to enhance the future of the music business on the continent. Some creative industry discussants included President, Creative Arts Council, Ghana, Mr. Mark Okraku Mantey and AFRIMA Regional Director, West Africa, Mr. Don Obilor.

According to Kenyan music diva, Victoria Kimani, “Before now, the world of music, fashion and arts were not being taken seriously unlike politics, but the progress that have been registered in today’s music industry makes it easier to have a more confident ecosystem that encourages the production of good music around the continent”.

Nigerian Afro pop singer, Seyi Shay, shared how the African music industry has empowered her as an artiste and how the system has given most artistes the control over their music,

Encouraging artistes to focus on building an authentic music brand, Ghanaian rap star, Sarkodie, talked about increasing the numbers of professionals in the music business that can provide structure and technical music production where everybody can in turn make more money through music business.

Nigerian artiste Falz encouraged artiste to not only have musical collaborations with fellow artistes but also with huge brands with whom artistes can share ideas and initiatives for support to help them grow in music business.

Giving his submission on the discussion theme, Innocent ‘2Baba’ Idibia said proper structure must be put in place to ensure that investors in the music industry can get returns on their money.

The AFRIMA 2018 Calendar Unveiling event was hosted by the government and people of Ghana as part of the AU policy to achieve its objective of promoting social integration in the five regions of Africa. The 5th AFRIMA will also feature high-octane music concerts tagged “Turn Up Africa” which objective is to connect fans and followers of African music with their favourite Africa music stars of the traditional and contemporary genres.

In partnership with the African Union, the All Africa Music Awards is a music property that recognizes and rewards the work and talent of myriad of African artists from the old to the new generation of musicians. Through its conference, AFRIMA also stimulates conversations among Africans and between Africa and the rest of the world about the potential of the creative arts for real humanizing enterprise on the continent contributing significantly to social cohesion, national, regional and continental integration as well as sustainable development in Africa. It is broadcast live to over 84 countries.

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South Africa’s trumpeter Hugh Masekela dies

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Hugh Masekela, South Africa’s trumpeter, jazz artist and music legend, is dead. He died of prolonged prostrate cancer. He was aged 78.

“After a protracted and courageous battle with prostate cancer, he passed peacefully in Johannesburg,” Masekela’s family said in a statement.

It hailed his “activist contribution” to music, which it said “was contained in the minds and memory of millions.”

Later, South Africa’s minister of arts and Culture, Nathi Mthethwa confirmed the death on Twitter, with a moving tribute.

“A baobab tree has fallen, the nation has lost a one of a kind musician with the passing of Jazz legend bra Hugh Masekela. We can safely say bra Hugh was one of the great architects of Afro-Jazz and he uplifted the soul of our nation through his timeless music”, Mthethwa tweeted.

Hugh Masekela: 4 April 1939-23 January 2018

 

There has been an outpouring of tributes to his music, his long career and his anti-apartheid activism.

South African President Jacob Zuma praised Masekela as a “jazz artist, legendary trumpeter, cultural activist and liberation struggle veteran.”

“He kept the torch of freedom alive globally fighting apartheid through his music and mobilising international support,” Zuma said.

“It is an immeasurable loss to the music industry and to the country at large.”

Masekela fled apartheid South Africa in 1960, and did not return until after the release of Nelson Mandela in 1990.

Among his greatest hits were the beloved anthem “Bring Him Back Home”, demanding Mandela’s freedom from jail, and “Grazing in the Grass”.

Grazing In The Grass topped the Billboard Hot 100. He was the first African male Grammy nominee (1968). He won the Lifetime Achievement Award at the CHOMVA, Ghana Music Awards, Jazz FM Awards and MAMAs.

Keeping up his international touring schedule into his 70s with energetic shows, his concerts at home often became mass sing-alongs.

A teenaged Masekela was handed his first trumpet — and later a Louis Armstrong hand-me-down — through anti-apartheid activist priest Father Trevor Huddlestone.

“I took to it like a fish to water. I was a natural,” he recalled.

Masekela spent his early years in a conservative small town east of Johannesburg, surrounded by coal mines that relied on cheap black labour.

“It was in those days in Witbank that music first captured my soul, forced me to recognise its power,” he wrote in his candid autobiography “Still Grazing”.

Growing up under the worst of apartheid’s racial laws that classified blacks as second-class citizens, Masekela was desperate to leave the country that he described as cursed.

“When the airplane finally took off, it was as though a very heavy weight had been taken off me — as if I had been painfully constipated for 21 years,” he said of his flight to London.

Despite his long exile, the aching pain of a country ripped apart by skin colour never left his music.

Masekela moved to New York to study at the Manhattan School of Music and fell into a fast-paced life alongside fellow South African legend Miriam Makeba and giants of music like Dizzy Gillespie and Harry Belafonte.

Masekela and Makeba were briefly married in the early 1960s.

His first number one was the 1968 breezy single “Grazing in the Grass” which topped the US charts while he was living in Los Angeles and hanging out with stars like Jimi Hendrix and Marvin Gaye.

He later spent several years in West Africa, where he played with icons like Nigeria’s Fela Anikulapo Kuti, and in 1974 helped organise a three-day festival ahead of the “Rumble in the Jungle” boxing clash between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman.

In the 1980s, he built a mobile recording studio in Botswana where he lived for several years, toured with Paul Simon of “Graceland” fame and helped with the score for the hit musical “Sarafina!”

A charismatic horn blower and vocalist, Masekela’s songs ranged from the haunting “Stimela” about trains taking black workers to South Africa’s mines, to the cheeky energy of “Thanayi” about a large woman’s struggle with food.

But his life was also filled with excess — women, alcohol and drugs — with which he struggled from his youth.

“I was drunk on money — when I could find it — drugs, which were never hard to find, love, lust and music, and in no hurry to sober up,” he wrote.

Affectionately known as “Bra Hugh”, Masekela finally returned to South Africa after the release of Mandela, who telephoned him while he was in New York.

Arts Minister Nathi Mthethwa said Tuesday that “the nation has lost a one-of-a-kind musician.”

“He uplifted the soul of our nation through his timeless music.”

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