The African Union Commission and the International Committee of the All Africa Music Awards have bestowed the special award of Supporter of the Arts on the Governor of Lagos State, Akinwunmi Ambode.
The award was presented at the 5th AFRIMA, the annual music awards held in Accra, Ghana on November 24, 2018.
Ambode was honoured for his contributions and support towards the growth of arts and culture in Africa.
Amira Elfadil, Commissioner for Social Affairs, AUC, in her letter to the Governor of Lagos State noted: “This recognition is in accordance to the pivotal role the Government of Lagos State played as the Official Host City of AFRIMA awards in 2016 and 2017 which impacted on the overall AFRIMA objectives of using the awards platform to unify the African continent, while celebrating its music and cultural uniqueness.”
The Lagos State Government under the leadership of Ambode has demonstrated an undeniable commitment to the music and entertainment sector of Nigeria, paving way for the growth and recognition of indigenous talents, promoting the heritage and culture of the people of Lagos state, while expanding the business of arts and tourism in the state, the bodies noted.
Representative of the Governor, the Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Lagos State, Steve Ayorinde, who received the award on Ambode’s behalf, congratulated AFRIMA, AUC and the government of the Republic of Ghana, said: “I am pleased to be receiving this special recognition on behalf of the Art loving governor of Lagos State who sent his apologies for not being able to make it tonight, but also sent his warm courtesies, because to him Ghana is also home. We have a saying in Lagos, we say ‘One Lagos’, and he knows that in Ghana too, it is One Ghana.”
Ayorinde also noted that nothing has brought Africans closer, bigger than what AFRIMA is doing, and pleased that AFRIMA has moved to a sister city after four great editions in Lagos, and he looks forward to the next editions which he believes will be hosted in Ghana.
The special recognition is a unanimous agreement by the AUC, International Committee of AFRIMA and the esteemed 13-man AFRIMA Jury made up of African music, media and culture experts from the five regions of Africa (two representatives each), one from Europe and North America respectively (representing the diaspora) and a representative from AUC to recognize individuals who have contributed to the creative economy of Africa.
The awards night also saw honours going out to other recipients of the AFRIMA special recognition awards.
Other honorary awardees included internationally recognised South African singer, Yvonne Chaka Chaka, who received the 5th AFRIMA Legend Award; and Ghana’s music veteran, Teddy Osei, founder of the famous Osibisa group, an Afropop band created in 1969.
Similarly, winners also emerged from the popularised 36 awards categories (regional and continental), where music artiste had to battle it out in each genre to emerge winner of the 23.9k gold-plated AFRIMA trophy.
AFRIMA, in partnership with African Union is a music property that recognises and rewards the work and talent of myriad of African artists from the old to the new generation of musicians.
AFRIMA also stimulates conversations among Africans and between Africa and the rest of the world about the potential of the creative arts for real humanising enterprise on the continent contributing significantly to social cohesion, national, regional and continental integration as well as sustainable development in Africa.