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By Oluwatobi Opusunju

The All Africa Music Awards (AFRIMA) in partnership with the African Union Commission has announced the addition of four new award categories ahead of the forthcoming 5th edition of the award ceremony slated for November, 2018.

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The newly introduced award categories are African DJ of the Year; Best African Dance/Choreography; African Lyricist/Rapper of the Year and Best African Act in Diaspora (Female & Male).

According to a statement released today by AFRIMA, the categories were carefully arrived at after extensive consultations with African music stakeholders which included the AFRIMA Academy of Voters and members of the International Committee of AFRIMA in response to the yearnings and requests of stakeholders, DJ’s, dancers and artistes in diaspora.

“This process attests to the objective of AFRMA to use the African creative industry to showcase the unique cultural heritage of Africa to the rest of the world while celebrating innovations and diversification in Africa’s contemporary music industry,” the statement read.

AFRIMA awards categories are divided into two: Continental and Regional categories. The Continental Category rewards African artistes in various music genres and forms ranging from pop, hip hop, inspirational, jazz, electro, DJ and more, while the Regional Category celebrates the outstanding achievements of African artistes within their specific region of origin.

African DJ of the Year; Best African Dance/Choreography; African Lyricist/Rapper of the Year and Best African Act in Diaspora all fall under the Continental Category.

In addition, the Best African Act in Diaspora is dedicated to artistes with African roots/origin who practice their craft in the international music industry and have prominence and renowned on the international music stage. The artiste’s music style could either be in the traditional or contemporary forms of expression.

Commenting on the welcome development, the Jury Member representing Africa music in the Diaspora (North America), Hadja Kobélé Keita said: “AFRIMA have given African artistes, for the past few years, an opportunity to capture the attention of an extension and comparatively distinct swath of the public, while emphasising on the unique importance of our diverse African musical culture. The addition of the Diaspora category is a direct emphasis on the critical role Africans in diaspora have as the ambassador of our culture on a global scale.”

Read also: Nigerians Win Big At AFRIMA 2017 – Full Winners List

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