The events that happened on Sunday, 13th November 2017, leaves a lot to be discussed about how we rank and award our artistes in Nigeria, and in extension, Africa. Davido claimed the award for Best African Artiste at the MTV EMA awards, while on the same day his arch-rival, Wizkid was handed a similar award. Weezy was named the best artiste on the African continent by the organizers of another prestigious music award, AFRIMA.

The Nigerian music fanbase has since been literally split into two separate raves; with each celebrating different artistes as the 2017 champion of African music. Even though there is so much collective celebration to do, considering the continued continental dominance of Nigerian music, but still, the fact that Davido is considered a worthy awardee on one platform, while Wizkid appears more deserving to another; goes to show that we are yet to reach a unanimous decision as to who had the best musical year – Davido or Wizkid.

I want to believe the award for Best African Act at the MTV EMA Awards was given to Davido on the basis that he has multiple continental hit songs in the year under review. No doubt, If and Fall are two of the biggest songs on the African continent and so, I concluded that Davido won the award because of the commercial success of his songs in the African music market.

On the other hand, Wizkid has been a darling to African music lovers for his exploits in pushing our sound into the known-to-be resistant global market, through his collaborations with international artistes like Drake, Future, Trey Songz, Major Lazer and co. For this particular reason, I think the organizers of AFRIMA rewarded him with awards in very juicy categories including that of Artiste of the year.

The ultimate question now is – can we get a unanimous pick for the best African artiste of year, 2017? Should it be StarBoy or OBO?

In finding the perfect answer to that question, one would have to consider the criterion used by the different award organizers in picking their different choices. The organizers of the MTV EMA Awards seem to have picked Davido on the basis of the popularity of his songs, especially in the “local” market, while AFRIMA might have based their judgement on the happenings on the global scene and hence, the different choice for the same title. It therefore makes it fitting to conclude that the answer to the question on who deserves to be the 2017 best African artiste, depends on who is asking.


This article was written by Ibironke Oluwatobi. He tweets via: @ibironketweets

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