This year’s BET Awards are looking to be bigger than ever and the Best International Act Africa category is definitely not one to be missed. After securing two awards at the recent MTV Africa Music Awards (MAMA) for Male Artist of the Year and Artist Of The Year, multi-platinum selling Nigerian artist Davido looks like he could be winning this category at the BET Awards on June 29.
His international hit “Skelewu” secured his nomination, but the star has certainly delivered more hits to the public since the start of 2014 including some massive African collaborations with the likes of Ghana’s Shatta Wale and Tanzania’s Diamond among others, and his latest hit track “Aye” which garnered four million views on YouTube in just 4 months. He also recently ended a U.S and Canada tour, thereby solidifying his presence in America.
Davido – “Skelewu”:
Fellow Nigerian nominee Tiwa Savage could be competition for Davido in this category. The first lady of Mavin Records is nominated for her track “Eminado” featuring top Nigerian producer Don Jazzy which topped the charts last year. In addition to this is her debut album Once Upon a Time that has also been getting positive reviews. So far this year, she has stolen the show on Patoranking’s popular “Girlie O Remix”, but has also caused some controversy, thanks to her much maligned – and some might say ill-advised – music video for her album opening track “Wanted”.
Eclectic veteran duo Mafikizolo, who put South Africa back on the map with their Zulu/English House track and comeback single “Khona” which had the continent and its diaspora buzzing for months, are also nominees for this category. They won the Song Of The Year award at the MTV Africa Music Awards, and Davido collaborated with the duo for the track “Tchelete” earlier this year, showing an appreciation for the South African talents, but also widening his fan base throughout the continent. There is no doubt that South African music has a way to go still in terms of thet international recognition of Nigerian music right now, but Mafikizolo have definitely created a milestone that may see them end up with the Best International Act Africa gong at the BET Awards.
Mafikizolo – “Khona”:
Ghanaian rap star Sarkodie has also secured a nomination, and seeing as he won this category in 2012, he may be in for another win with the hits he has produced since his last win, partnering with top artists from fellow Ghanaian star Fuse ODG on “Down On One” to Nigerian star Banky W on “Pon Di Ting”, but most notably, his recent effort “Adonai” featuring Castro, which might just be one of the songs of 2014.
Diamond Platnumz or Diamond for short from Tanzania earned a whopping seven Kilimanjaro Music Awards from his native country recently and also performed with Davido at the MAMA’s. The pair’s performance had the crowd in Durban pumped from start to finish. In addition to this, the Tanzanian Pop star’s “Number One” which features Davido has already received over two million hits on YouTube. Toofan from Togo is the final nominee for this category. The track “Sans Commentaire” from the Francophone artist has seen his fan base grow to those outside of Togo and earn him this nomination at the BET awards.
Of all the nominees for this category, it seems that Tiwa Savage is the nominee that Davido will face the most competition from. The female singer-songwriter’s star has been on the rise since the release of her debut song “Kele Kele” in 2012. She too picked up the award for Best Female Artist at the MAMA’s and shows no signs of slowing down. Ranked against his fellow nominees and their various accomplishments, I believe Davido will take away the award for best international act.
His presence, popularity and chart topping hits have only increased since his beginnings three years ago. His collaborations with Nigerian as well as Ghanaian, Tanzanian and South African artists show a skillful ear, a pulse for what the people want to hear, and his massive crossover appeal across Africa. To achieve this level of success at the age of only 21, shows that Davido will only go from strength to strength in his music career and this win at the BET Awards will be just another accolade of many to come.
Davido – “Aye”:
Words by Halimat Shode // Edited by Ayo Adepoju // Photo Credit: Horpload Works