OBO’s AFRIMA Woes: Wizzy or Nigeria’s Gain?


When the lists of nominees for the just concluded All Africa Music Awards (AFRIMA) was announced earlier in August, the Best West African Act (male), Song of the Year and Artiste of the year categories reveled one thing-the ‘Cold-war’ between two of Nigeria’s finest musical exports-David “Davido” Adeleke and Ayo “Wizkid” Balogun had been moved to a new battle ground.

As far as pundits were concerned, the moment the names of contenders on the three lists were reeled out and the ‘HKN gang’s’ leader, as well as the ‘Star Boy’ Boss were mentioned, the prospects of their competitors dimmed.

At the international event, November 12, those present were clearly divided along three lines-those who rooted for the self-acclaimed ‘Omo Baba Olowo’-OBO; the die-hard fans of ‘Daddy o’ and a last group of music lovers who didn’t want to choose any camp because they loved both stars.

The night went fast as expected and before long, it was time to announce the names of winners of the two most prestigious categories in the pack-Song of the Year and Artiste of the Year and voila! Like (the Best West African Act announced earlier) the “Caro” singer picks them both.

These winnings bring to 46 the tally of trophies on Balogun’ shelf, while Adeleke is left to make do with 29.

Now why didn’t Davido cart away with at least one of these prizes? Was it that Wizzy offered something better or because the former didn’t try enough?

One commentator insisted “No!”, but instead attributed Davido’s loss to his recent ordeal. “I think what hampered Davido’s chances was the negative publicity he has received lately as a result of the death of some members of his gang,” he added.

This claim may hold some waters. Recall that while voting for the 23.9 carat gold-plated reward began August 21, the incident which saw his close allies die under controversial circumstances had happened in October, one month before the Awards proper.

Another commentator on the contrary said happenings like this should not be looked at that way. “Whether Davido carries the day or not shouldn’t be the issue. We should rejoice because a win for Wizkid is a win also for Davido (his compatriot), Nigeria as a whole and indeed all of Africa,” she said.

My Backyard Story aligns with her. That is the way all music loving Nigerians should react to these victories, which goes a long way in confirming the country as the continent’s music capital.

Add to this list, Tuface, Tiwa Savage, Simi, Orezi and Ycee’s big wins for the night.

Kudos Nigeria! And thank you guys for truly representing.