Use art, culture to end poverty, Tinubu tells African youths

Tinubu AFRIMA Award

Funsho Arogundade

Tinubu AFRIMA Award

Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, former governor of Lagos State has called on African youths to develop their full potentials in arts and culture to deal with the problem of poverty on the continent.

Tinubu made the appeal on Sunday night while making remarks after been honoured as the “Pillar of African Art and Culture” by the African Union, AU at this year’s edition of All Africa Music Awards, AFRIMA held at Eko Hotel & Suites, Lagos.

“There’s no doubt that art and culture can be used to tackle poverty in Africa. We have seen the economic opportunities of our talented youths blossoming. In the last five years, their contributions to Nigeria’s Growth Domestic Product, GDP through art and culture have improved tremendously. The contribution of our artists is a phenomenon now and we can take the advantage to tackle the scourge of poverty,” Tinubu told thousands of ross sections of guests.

The former governor, who expressed his appreciation to the African Union Commission for the honour, said AFRIMA has shown there are sense of cultural variables that can be appreciated in the African diversity. And that the award organisers has demonstrated how Africa talents can be brought together to promote peace, wealth and prosperity.

He then reiterated his belief in Africa Renaissance and urged the youths on the continent to change the narrative.

“I believe you believe in what I believe. You accept and agreed with what I believe in stronger value and African Renaissance. I believe what you believe and you believe what I believe, which is that art and culture is an effective tool for economic empowerment and social development,” Tinubu declared.

He continued, “It should no longer be the stricken, hungry children, infested by famine and destitution that should be the face of Africa. We have seen the faces of talents here who have worked hard and if we forged together, we can bring Africa back with pride, talents and culture. So, I believe in what you believe. You believe in what I believe. We all believe that Africa will continue to be great, we have paid the price of place across the world and the greatest amplifier of that greatness are the culture and talents of all of you,” the national leader of Nigeria’s ruling party, All Progressives Congress, APC summed.

And it was an historical night for the East African artistes inside the Eko Convention Centre as they won in most of the coveted award categories. Tanzania’s Diamond Platnumz was the biggest winner of the night as he took home three awards notably the Artiste of the Year, Song of the Year award and Best Male Artiste in Eastern Africa.

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The 26-year old singer beat top Nigerian acts including Davido, Wizkid, Olamide and Yemi Alade in the Artiste of the Year and Song of the Year Award categories. He had earlier in the year defeated Davido and Yemi Alade to clinch the title of Best African act at the 2015 MTV EMA.

His compatriot, Vanessa Mdee won Best Artiste in African Pop; while Kenyan group singers, Sauti Sol is the Best African Group and copped the Producer of the year award alongside Cedric Kadenyi; with fellow Kenyan M’vula picked the Best Artiste In African Rock.Uganda’s Joseph Chameleone also won Songwriter of the year with Ethiopian’s Tsedenia Gebremarkos winning the Best Female Artiste in Eastern Africa to complete the boot.

Some of this year’s big winners who received the 23.9 karat gold-plated trophy also include South Africa’s rap star Casper Nyovest, who copped the award for the Best Male Artist in South Africa and also the Best Artist in African hip-hop; his compatriot Busiswa Ngoku was the Best Female Artiste in South Africa; Charlotte Dipanda won Best Artiste in African Contemporary, and her “Elle n’a pas vu” clinched the Album of the year; Ghana’s Wiyaala won Video of the year; and Equatorial Guinea’s Betty Akna copped Best Female Artist (Inspirational) trophy.

Ghana’s Stonebwoy picked Best Artist In Reggae, Ragga & Dancehall trophy; Morrocans Ahmed Soultan and Manal clinched the Best Male and Female Artistes in Northern Africa respectively while the combo of AKA (South Africa) and Burna Boy (Nigeria) emerged the winner in the Best African Collaboration category.

As usual, Nigeria dominated the awards roll call. Rap star Olamide won as Best Male Artist in West Africa while Yemi Alade is the Female Best in West Africa. Flavour won Best Artist In African Electro; Praiz Adejo is the Best Artist In Africa RnB & Soul; Darey won in the Best Male Artist (Inspirational) category.

YBNL’s Adekunle Gold is AFRIMA 2015 Revelation of the year while Kiss Daniel won the Most Promising Artist in Africa. South Africa-based Nigerian Instrumentalist, Kunle Ayo is the Best Artist In African Jazz.

Hosted by popular Kenya hype man, DNG, and Ivorian actress, Aurelie Eliam, the event kicked off proper when veteran storyteller, Jimi Solanke, came on stage with a prologue that eventually introduced Cobhams Asuquo and South African male choral group, Ladysmith Black Mambazo.

The night also witnessed performances from Waje, Victoria Kimani, AKA, Sauti Sol, Diamond Platnumz, Adekunle Gold, Betty Akna, Busiswa and Diamond Platnumz with his hit single, ‘Number One’.

Olamide drew the curtain on the show with an outstanding performance of his several hits.