Nigeria to host Koras

Gugu Sibiya

Gugu Sibiya

After years of silence, the Kora All Africa Music Awards 2008 are not only back on the arts map but are inviting entries from Southern Africa.

Entries close on April 15.

The categories of the awards are best male artist, female artist or group. The innovation from the 2008 edition is the introduction of a cash prize of US$1 million (about R8 million) which will be awarded to the "Best Artist or Group of the Continent".

The Koras promote African artists and their music to a global audience, unite Africans through celebration of excellence in music, produce a world-class, live performance and television broadcast show that portrays the best of Africa and the diaspora to the rest of the world.

They also protect the intellectual property of artists and prevent unauthorised copy and reproduction of materials, unite and connect Africans in a spirit of unity through hosting of seminars by industry professionals.

Last held in 2005, the Koras are prestigious awards that encompass the whole of Africa. They brought together different music genres of the African continent, showcasing the sounds and artists from "neglected" countries.

After being hosted in South Africa for over 10 years, they will, for the next five years, have their home in Nigeria, which has always clamoured to state the award.

Launched at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs, Kofo Abayomi, Victoria Island, Lagos, in February, the Koras have featured prominent music luminaries.

These included, among others, the late Gerald Levert, Papa Wemba, Kofi Olomide, Kelly Price, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Oliver Mtukudzi, the late Brenda Fassie, Angie Stone, Jeff Maluleke, Oliver N'Goma, Bebe Winans and Missy Elliot, who dazzled Africa and the world.

The mink and manure champagne Kora event will be held in Tinapa, Cross River state, Nigeria, on December 6.