Best-selling singer-songwriter Omawumi Megbele and hip-hop icon Jude 'M.I' Abaga have been announced as hosts for the 7th edition of The Headies - Nigeria's biggest music honours event.
Announcing this today, executive producer Ayo Animashaun says the pair have been selected in line with the awards' tradition of picking talented and inspiring entertainers, to front an awards ceremony that parades some of the continent's biggest entertainers.
"It's a very important year for us at The Headies, and for the Nigerian music industry in general', Animashaun, who founded the awards in 2006 says. "And we found in M.I and Omawumi, two great entertainers who are very passionate about the awards, passionate about their work, passionate about the music business and a great source of inspiration to young, up and coming artistes, because of their peculiar stories climbing up".
Omawumi, 30, came second on West Africa Idol, in 2007. Her success on that show provided a strong foundation for her career, and she hasn't looked back for a minute. With her debut single 'In the music' released in 2008, she established herself as a talent to court, and a singer whose eyes are on the global stage. The success of that single, won her the coveted 'Next Rated' prize at The Headies in 2009. The award came with a brand new KIA Optima. Omawumi has moved on to become a remarkably successful singer, actor, performer and philanthropist.
Omawumi's co-host M.I, has risen from grass to grace, in just about half a decade. And, from a Jos-bred wanna -be, who worked hard to find a niche in the hip hop community, M.I has now become the leading rapper and hip hop ambassador on the continent, with many medals to show for his achievements. The Chocolate City rapper is a multiple winner at The Headies, with his prizes including Best Rap Album and Revelation of the year (both in 2009). He has won a total of 9 Headies, starting from his first surprise win in 2008.
'I won my first Headie when no one knew who I was' M.I says. 'It was a big leap for me and my career and I can say the same for a lot of my colleagues. Several years after, I'm excited to be here, performing in a very important capacity, along with my very good friend Omawumi'.
"You know one of the things over the years that have been traditionally so great about the Headies awards is the fact that they do two things well. They merge the aspirational aspect of entertainment with the inspirational aspect of entertainment. You take us to the villages, we meet people where they don't really have water we've done that. At the same time you take people to Brazil. A young person can look and be inspired and also aspire too," he concluded.
Both acts have already been getting together, sharing ideas and fine-tuning concepts, along with The Headies producers, in anticipation of a great show this year.
'It's been fun, fun, fun for me' Omawumi comments. 'From the photo shoot to all the meetings, rehearsals, fittings and interviews, I can see that I'm going to have the fun of my life. And I promise this year's guests will have even more fun. Me and M.I go craze!'.
The Headies 2012 will hold at the Eko Hotel and Suites on Saturday October 20.
Now in its seventh year, The Headies (also known as Hip Hop World Awards) is Nigeria's premiere honours event for urbane music and hip hop culture. Produced and presented to match some of the biggest awards shows from around the world, The Headies annually celebrate deserving Nigerian music stars, giving honour to whom it is due, and encouraging many to step up their game in order to enter The prestigious Headies alumni.