It was lights, camera, and action at this year’s African Entertainment Awards on October 21 at the Cicely Tyson Theatre in East Orange, New Jersey.
Artists such as Yemi Alade of Nigeria, Gyptian of Jamaica, Nsoki of Angola, and Prince Musarurwa of Zimbabwe graced the stage to showcase not only their talents, but to also do it for the culture.
Reggae singer Gyptian hinted why he attended the function saying, “I’ve been in the African community for quite some while now so I’m showing back appreciation.”
Afropop singer and songwriter Yemi Alade also shared her excitement about partaking in the occasion. “I feel honored and thankful to God for the opportunity for life, to have gotten here, and to have received this amazing privilege from great people,” Yemi Alade said. “These are people who just thought my work is worthy, and I’m sincerely thankful for that.”
Afrobeats music, a combination of Fuji music and highlife with American funk and jazz, has gained global recognition within the last five years, even though it originated from Nigeria and Ghana in the 1960s.
“I’m thankful to be part of the generation making that happen right now,” Yemi Alade said. “I feel Africa will continue to rise as long as we continue to stay unashamed of it and continue to push the borders and continue to be ourselves.”
“I really admire and love the way that African artists and Afrobeats is growing tremendously,” Gyptian added. “I gotta say, congrats people. You did it, and you’re doing it well, definitely.
By: Fatima ‘Young Oprah’ Sesay
Host of PLAYBAK MAGAZINE