Kenyan artiste, Tetu Shani, calls out AFRIMA over ‘poor treatment of nominees’


Tetu Shani, the Kenyan singer, has called out organisers of the 2021 All Africa Music Awards (AFRIMA) over what he described as “poor organisation and lack of diversity in its programmes”.

Shani was nominated in the ‘Best Artiste, Duo or Group in African Rock’ category for ‘Furukazi’, his hit track, during the award ceremony which was held between November 19 to 21.

In a lengthy Twitter thread, the singer narrated his experience during the event in Lagos.

Shani said the communication process used was “erratic and generally last minute” that it left him and other Kenyan artistes who were nominated confused at some points.

…I am not sure if the media people were briefed on the pan African nature of the awards because most of the questions I was asked were Nigeria centric,” he wrote.

“Questions like “Who would you like to collaborate with in Nigeria?,” “what do you like most about Nigeria?” And the one that annoyed me most, “What is to your biggest song in Nigeria?” How on earth would possibly know and why is the relevant to my nomination?

“The following day was something called the Business Summit. Essentially it was meant to be a series of panels on the nature of music business in Africa led by leading music professionals.

“This was a potentially powerful moment where music professionals from each region in Africa could provide perspective and solutions on the unique challenges of artists and stakeholders in the individual regions but nope. It was all Nigerian perspectives.

“@AFRIMAWARDS please diversify your moderators. Diversify your panelists as well. They can’t and shouldn’t be mostly Nigerian men. If each region is represented, it will provide a more comprehensive view of what the music industry in Africa looks like.”

He said his post is aimed at ensuring that the organisers improve the planning and conduct of the annual event.

“Where @AFRIMAWARDS has room for massive improvement is 1) it’s communication channels 2) it’s lack of representation of other countries apart from Nigeria in its programming and 3)it’s lack of training of its staff and partners in the art of hospitality,” he added.

“@AFRIMAWARDS I reiterate that I’m highlighting these issues so that there can be improvement next year 1) honour your nominees regardless of their country 2) provide for them 3) communicate with them and 4) protect them from disrespect.”

AFRIMA is yet to react to the singer’s claims as of the time of this report.

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