Leadership (Abuja)

2 January 2013

Nigeria Artists Shine At Kora Awards 2012

Photo: Chidinma/Facebook
Singer Chidinma

2012 has been a great year for Nigerian artistes all around the world especially music acts like Davido and Chidinma who were winners at the just concluded KORA Awards which held Sunday night, December 30, 2012 in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, a day earlier than announced by the organisers.

While the 'Dami Duro' crooner who was absent won the 'Best Male Newcomer' award, Chidinma walked away with the 'Best Female West African Act' with an exquisite performance at the awards making her one of the finest African act, she received her trophy from Ex Chelsea dreaded player and Ivorian captain,Didier Drogba.

Her choice of local fabrics and African attires makes her a symbol to other artistes of her age.

Nigerian pop duo Psquare also attended the awards.

There were also various performances from artistes across Africa and beyond.

Also Aliko Dangote was honoured with, African most richest and Nigeria's greatest industrious man,was awarded a 'Role Model Award.'

The great festival of African music was delayed by a day because of rains and the delays in the delivery of the musical equipment and the late arrival of the star artiste, American R & B Chris Brown.

Brown finally arrived in Abidjan on Sunday morning with his girlfriend Rihanna, early enough for the peace concert and the award night.

But he never made the award night, where he had been billed to perform. And he initially refused to perform at the Peace Concert because the stadium was half empty.

The award night was heavily criticized for its high cost: one million CFA francs (1,500 euros, $2,000) for those who want a seat in the luxury hotel for the ceremony, or 50,000 CFA francs (75 euros, $100) for seats outside. And no wonder, attendance was poor.

These prices are far out of reach for most people in the poor west African country, the world's top cocoa producer.

Dancers thrilled at the event, but while the Koras were going on at a luxury hotel, the US singer was a few minutes away in the national stadium performing at a much-delayed concert for "Peace in Africa."

Chidinma enchanted the ceremony and won the award for best musician from West Africa, while Algerian rai singer Cheb Khaled was adjudged best north African artiste, and French rap group Sexion d'Assaut took the award for the "African diaspora" in Europe.

Chris Brown, whom fans call "Breezy", won the US equivalent.

"Mama" Patience Dabany, former first lady of Gabon and mother of current head of state Ali Bongo, was proclaimed "woman of the year."

Past Kora ceremonies have been attended by South African anti-apartheid hero Nelson Mandela and the late "King of Pop" Michael Jackson.

For Ivory Coast, which is still recovering from four months of post-election violence that ended in April 2011 after claiming some 3,000 lives, the event signals a return to normalcy.

The Nigerian Chidinma, voted best singer in West Africa, was one of the few artistes to have made the trip.

But there was also, still, DJ Arafat. " This is a great event... all I can say is thank you , "stated the Ivorian, voted best African singer.

Mounira Mitchala a Chadian singer, voted best artist in Central Africa, said: "Today, I think I achieved something.

Inside, in the gala hall, several places around the tables were empty, perhaps because of the price of the tickets sold up to one million CFA francs, or 1500 euros.

At the end of the ceremony, the organizers apologized for hiccups.

" The Kora come a long way" , says Yves Zogbo, one of the hosts for the evening . I hope that the next edition will, through the one we just witnessed, reposition the event. Life is made of ups and downs, but we must learn. I am satisfied. "

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