Eddy Kenzo’s 2017 was marked by the success of his new album “BIOLOGY” and returning to Coke Studio for a second time, paired alongside Ghanaian artist Bisa Kdei. He had 4 AFRIMA nominations under which he clinched two of biggest awards of the night for ‘Album of the Year’ and ‘Best Male Artiste’ in East Africa. Speaking of his win, he says, “I am so happy and I feel so blessed. This is too much! Winning Album of the year and Best Artiste in East Africa is not easy since we have so a lot of talented artists in East Africa. To win such a big award is a dream come true,” sending to fellow artists: “I am just here to encourage all the youth and new artists to keep their head up, they can make it. We need to win more awards in East Africa.”
He was nominated alongside another Coke Studio Africa star from Tanzania: Alikiba. “I also congratulate Alikiba and all artists who were nominated in my categories and all East African artists. I am so proud of each of you. May God bless Africa.”
Bongo music royalty, Alikiba, received a nod for Best African Collaboration and Best African R&B and Soul Awards for his smash hit “Aje” that featured Nigerian rapper M.I Abaga. King Kiba also made his second return to Coke Studio was this year paired alongside Nigerian dancehall king Patoranking. Fast rising Tanzanian female singer, Nandy, known for her hit songs “One Day” and “Nagusa Gusa” who made her debut on Coke Studio Africa this year paired alongside Ethiopian songbird Betty G is already leaving a mark in her industry. She won AFRIMA award for Best Female Artiste East Africa.
AFRIMA category of Best Male Artiste in Central Africa included Coke Studio stars: Anselmo Ralph (Angola) and Locko, with Locko receiving the award. The “Superstar” hitmaker made his debut on the show this year performing alongside Tresor from South Africa. Speaking of his win, he says, “I want to give a shout out to all my fans (Lockomotives) for giving me this award. This was the one I was expecting the least and I am now going home with it. I am really happy and I will keep working hard.”
18 Coke Studio Africa artists were among Africa’s top celebrated stars nominated at the 2017 AFRIMA. They included Yemi Alade, Alikiba, AKA, Runtown, Nasty C, Eddy Kenzo, Locko, Anselmo Ralph, Jah Prayzah, Busiswa, Amanda Black, Kiff No Beat, Mafikizolo, Micasa, Bebe Cool, Nyashinski, Olamide and Nandy. This year’s nominee list included 33 categories, 10 regional and 23 genre-based categories, with Coke Studio stars bagging 25 nomination slots in total.