Awards aim to tell the African music story
On Tuesday, the official calendar unveiling was announced in Sandton.
The awards' main aim is to tell an African story and celebrate Africa's rich culture and heritage in one spectacular night.
In partnership with the AU, Afrima has had a huge impact across the continent.
“Afrima has been able to mobilise millions of people and renowned artists from the five regions of Africa,” said AU Commission head of culture Angela Martins.
She said the AU used the Afrima platform to popularise its continental policy tools, including the plan of action on cultural and creative industries and the charter for African cultural renaissance and the AU agenda 2063.
“Afrima celebrates artists, musicians, managers and producers. In 2016, it awarded and recognised the contributions that Manu Dibango, King Sunny Adé and Papa Wemba have made to African music.”
Martins said she hoped a lot of the younger musicians would be recognised as well this year, in line with the AU policy to look towards building the youth, “so that culture is promoted and put in its rightful place on our continent”.
President and executive producer of Afrima Mike Dada said it was not just an awards ceremony but rather a movement aesthetic that allowed Africans to tell their own stories.
“This journey started seven years ago and has evolved. It’s a platform to communicate the strength of Africa for global competitiveness using arts, music and entertainment.
"If we don’t promote Africa, who will do it for us? That’s what it's all about,” he said.
Dada said it was important to bring the unveiling to South Africa as it had already been through various parts of the continent, including The Gambia and Ethiopia.
The last three awards have taken place in Lagos, Nigeria.
“We need to tell our own narrative to the rest of the world. It is a dangerous thing for us to allow it to be told by others,” Dada said.
The unveiling of the calendar of events ahead of the official awards will include world media campaigns, entry submissions, judging, the nominees announcement, public voting, the Afrima music village concert, a nominees party and the main awards ceremony in the host city, which will be announced once the bidding has been done.
An international committee has been formed to see the awards through. All five African regions will have a representative in the committee, and brand experts, music legends, media owners and journalists will form part of the committee to serve as an advisory board for the awards.
Afrima brand communication director Matlou Tsotetsi said ultimately the awards were designed to promote distinct root African music worldwide.
“We see this as an opportunity to use the music as an export product to the rest of the world, so our vision is to be the ultimate recognition of African music globally.
"Our mission is to celebrate culture and heritage; rewarding artists and creating sustainable growth of the African music industry as a contributor to the national and continental economies.
"As Africans we can do it better,” she said.
The awards will be on November 12. To find out how to enter, visit www.afrima.org@mane_mpi