African celebrities assemble in Dakar for All-Africa Music Awards

Charlaine Mbiang, known as Espoir La Tigresse, a Gabonese singer, speaks on the red carpet, ahead of the 8th All Africa Music Awards (AFRIMA) that aims to celebrate and promote the continent's best veteran and cutting-edge musicians in Dakar, Senegal, January 15, 2023. REUTERS/Ngouda Dione

Music’s most prominent names descended upon Dakar, Senegal, On Sunday, for the eighth annual All-Africa Music Awards (AFRIMA), an event that honours and promotes the best established and emerging artists on the African continent.

The significant awards event will take place in the 15,000-seat Dakar stadium and feature performances from internationally renowned artists such as Senegalese maestro Youssou Ndour and Nigerian artists P-Square and Tiwa Savage.

One of the guests nominated for an AFRIMA, Gabonese musician Espoir La Tigresse, was among those posing on the red carpet in their finest attire.

She told Reuters that she was wearing a black gown and a headgear covered with long straw-like fronds that hid most of her face to mimic a traditional dance from her village in Gabon because she was proud of her culture and wanted to share it with the people here today.

Some African singers have seen record sales and sold-out concerts across the continent and in the United States and portions of Europe due to the popularity of modern genres like Afrobeats, where artists sing and rap over electronic backing tracks.

Before the presentation, AFRIMA President Mike Dada remarked, “This is such an exciting moment in African music, and we are proud of the way these artists have been able to cross over to several markets both on the home front and even globally.”

Businesses are capitalising on the trend as demand for African music grows worldwide. Spotify and other music streaming services have made efforts to increase the number of songs by African artists available to their users. Universal Music Group formed a label specifically for independent African companies and artists in June.

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