Nation’s performers scoop up top awards celebrating African musicians. Nigerian singer 2 Face Idibia took the awards for artist of the year and best male performer at the MTV Africa Music Awards on Saturday night.
Known for his catchy, fast-paced pop song Implication, 2 Face took the spotlight in a live performance, throwing himself into the crowd and running away from two scantily clad dancers dressed as police officers.
“One love to Nigeria,” he said, brandishing the golden MTV award while his audience roared its delight.
It was the third MTA Africa Music Awards ceremony, popularly referred to as the MAMAs, celebrating excellence in African music. Hosted by U.S. hip-hop artist and actress Eve, this year’s gala event was held in Lagos, Nigeria’s financial capital.
And Nigeria ran away with many of the top prizes. Nigerian act P Square won the prize for best group, Nigerian rapper Sasha garnered the best female performer award and Nigerian Ko Ma Roll crooner Mo Cheddah notched her first MAMA win for best new artist.
National pride ran high as rapper Banky W took the stage, carrying the country’s green-and-white flag, and later tossing it over his shoulder during his performance.
“You have everything you need right here,” American rapper Chuck D said. “Recognize your legends. Recognize your history.”
South Africa’s legendary singer Miriam Makeba was posthumously honoured with the MAMA Legend award. Known as Mama Africa, the Grammy-winning Makeba was the musical voice of South Africa’s fight against apartheid rule. She suffered a heart attack and died at age 76 in 2008 while performing in Italy.
Other winners included Fally Ipupa, a singer from Congo, who received the best video award for his song, “Sexy Dance.”
Kenyan gospel singer Daddy Owen took the best anglophone award.
A new award category, best performance, went to the South African trio Big Nuz.
U.S. rapper Eminem was named best international artist but did not attend the event.