IN this year’s All Africa Music Award (AFRIMA), the spotlight beams on the uniquely talented female singers blazing the trail for Afrobeat’s global domination. From the streets of London to the stages in France, these African queens continue to soar with their vivacious voices, enigmatic charisma, alongside their feminine charm.
The ‘Best Act in the Diaspora’ was added to AFRIMA awards in 2018 with Hazel Mak (Malawi) as the first winner. Manno Beats (Chad) emerged winner in 2019.
These are the African queens nominated in the ‘Best Act in the Diaspora’ female category:
Everytime you talk to a mainstream music lover in Morocco about Abir Harroni, their eyes are likely to lit up with excitement. Apart from being a strong-willed pop musician, the New-York-based singer is also notable for her cultural expositions and stereotype-smashing philosophies, which she infuses into her music.
AYA NAKAMURA (Mali/France)
In the Malian music scene, Aya Nakamura towers as a maverick par excellence. The 26-year-old singer has been on the billboard for Francophone-African music in the global musicdom. With her lyrics, she champions a feminist agenda, as well as swoon over a massive fanbase with her compelling love-based soundpieces.
MS. BANKS (Nigeria/UK)
Thyra-Oji is not just a femme-dominating rapper, she is actually one of the most vibrant black artistes in the UK, where she resides. The Nigerian act rose to prominence around 2014, following the release of her inspiring debut dubbed, ‘Once Upon A Grind’. She is also one of the most respected acts in the UK music scene, with co-signs from other heavyweights such as Cardi B, among others.
NAOMI ACHU (Cameroon/USA)
Multiple award-winning singer, Naomi Achu, is one of the most popular acts native to Cameroon. The acclaimed ‘Queen of Bamenda’ is notable for being one of the women who popularized Cameroonian pop music in the global music circuit. Her 2011 smash hit, ‘Alhadji’, became a global music sensation.
The Eritrea indigene is a dancehall, neo-soul and hip-hop maverick beaming her vivacious sounds from her Amsterdam base to the rest of the world. Her most recent release dubbed, ‘I Shine, U Shine’ is a captivating project stewed in complex and mature lyricism on the concepts of love and fear.
The Nigerian-born Lewisham rapper is self-acclaimed as the ‘Queen of the South’. The ferocious emcee is one of Africa’s jewels in the UK music scene, creating a powerful momentum for black acts globally. The superstar has renewed her claim to the crown with her newest album dubbed, ‘Queen of the South,’ which aptly draws parallels to its namesake TV series.
NATA (Sierra Leone/USA)
Within the league of Black American rappers, NATA is one female emcee that stands out from miles away. Born within the Bronx suburbs of New York, this Sierra Leonean rap sweetheart, as she is fondly called, is an emerging musical maverick inspiring young people with her life experiences embroiled within her fiery raps. While her music does not necessarily revolve around being Sierra Leonean, she reps African fashion and often speaks about the dichotomy of being an African American and Sierra Leonean in America.
AFRIMA 2021 holds at Eko Hotel and Suites, Lagos, Nigeria from Friday, November 19 – Sunday, November 21, 2021. Preceding the award ceremony is the African Music Business Summit (AMBS), a platform for business networking and interaction among music professionals which will take place on Friday, November 19, 2021at 8.30am.
AFRIMA Music Fest, an evening of non-stop music concerts with live performances from African music superstars will take place on the same day of November 19 from 6.00pm. Sunday, November 21, 2021 comes with glitz from Africa’s music superstars, celebrities, and international personalities at AFRIMA awards ceremony with Red Carpet at 4.30pm and main awards at 7.30pm. Voting and ticket sales are ongoing on AFRIMA website www.afrima.org
AFRIMA has been regarded as the ultimate celebration and recognition of African talents and creatives globally since 2014.