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 Sunny Ade, Papa Wemba Get Recognition Awards

Cameroon-born saxophonist, Manu Dibango, has revealed that the Legendary Award, conferred on him at AFRIMA 2016, was the first award of any kind in music, for him, from Africa.

The All Africa Music Awards, AFRIMA, held its third edition on November 6, 2016 at the Eko Hotel and Suites, in Lagos, which is the official host city of the prestigious awards ceremony.

For Dibango, who has won nearly all global music laurels, honouring him for the first time in Africa, was indeed historic. In his acceptance speech, he said, “I thank AFRIMA for this award because it means so much to me. This is the first award I have ever gotten in Africa.”

Manu Dibango stormed the world with an Afro rock hit tune, Soul Makossa, in the mid 1970s and with his characteristic saxophone tones, went on to hold the music world spellbound with the Makossa Rhythm and Dance, in the years following the release of that hit tune.

The 83-year-old was completely in his elements on the AFRIMA stage, as he reenacted the fire of yester-years.

In the same vein, Sunday Adegeye, aka King Sunny Ade (Nigeria) is also counting the AFRIMA Special Recognition Award as one of his career’s blessings.

The musician, who clocked 70 years in September 2016, bagged the AFRIMA Special Recognition Award for his influence on world music.

KSA witnessed at AFRIMA 2016, a Tribute Session which was headlined by African music acts, Brymo and Seyi Shay, who churned out a remix of one of his hit tunes.  Alongside the duo’s performance, KSA did a dance medley to the tune. Dancing with him on stage was Africa’s Waka Queen, Salawa Abeni.

KSA arguably, would go down in history as one of Africa’s musicians who deliberately embarked early in life, on the commercial repackaging of Africa’s music for the western market.

His collaboration with Chris Blackwell’s Island Records, after the death of Bob Marley, is indeed the first concerted effort by a foreign music investor to deliberately want to tinker with the creativity of home-grown

African native music, for western dancehall tastes.

This opened another vista in the West’s interest in African native music, beyond FELA.

Sunny Ade, who was full of praises for AFRIMA and the Lagos State Government for the special recognition accorded him, remains an enigma, and has been nominated twice for the World Music Category of the Grammy.

He is still a master of the stage and a dance star. However, the tempo of the evening wore a somber look when Africa’s Jules Shungu Wemabadio Pene Kikumba, aka Papa Wemba, was mentioned for a

post-humous Special Recognition award.  He was honoured for his influence on world music. His wife, Mama-Marie Loxolo and daughter, Orphèe, received the award on behalf of the family.

Papa Wemba, who was called the King of Rumba Rock, long before boxing all time legend, Mohammed Ali, made the name popular in his historic fight “Rumble in the Jungle”.

Papa Wemba was one of the most popular musicians of his time in Africa. A fashion icon who  popularised the “La Sape” look and style through his musical group, “Viva La Musica,” he died at age 66, while on stage at the FEMUA URBAN Music Festival, on Sunday April 24, 2016 in Abidjan, Cote Di’Voire.