Africa shows IRAWMA loveThursday, May 13, 2021
BY BRIAN BONITTO
AFRICAN acts will be a feature of Sunday's virtual staging of International Reggae and World Music Awards (IRAWMA), according to organisers.
“We saw so many barriers being broken despite the pandemic. I think it's very phenomenal. We're pleased with the level of participation coming from the African continent. A lot of the performers on the show from Africa have been doing a really wonderful job,” Jacqueline Jackson, IRAWMA Caribbean operations manager, told the Jamaica Observer.
“They've always been onboard over the years. I think, in particular this year, the fact they've been doing so much on the ground as it relates to the music... We all saw Jerusalema crossing boundaries and borders during the pandemic. We saw so many different levels of people dancing and being happy to that particular song and the video. So I think they were excited to cross borders, so to speak, and getting to areas that they never expected,” she continued.
Jackson was speaking to the Observer in an exclusive interview after yesterday's IRAWMA virtual press conference.
Recorded in 2019, Jerusalema is by South African DJ/producer Master KG featuring vocalist Nomcebo. During late 2019, it went viral and became a global favourite.
Master KG and Nomcebo will be among Sunday's performers from Africa. Ghanaian dancehall act Shatta Wale and Dynamq International from Kenyan are also billed to perform.
“Shatta Wale has been an awardee many times over. He has actually appeared live at some of the IRAWMA shows. They have always been participating but this year is so much bigger,” said Jackson.
She said with regards to voting, the African supports 'came out in droves'.
“Majority of the votes come from the African continent this year so it was very, very, interesting... Their (the artistes's) social media campaigns pulled out their fans to vote because at the end of the day, it's voting that it boils down to. We don't see that happening locally,” said Jackson.
However, despite the challenges brought on by the pandemic and dwindling sponsorship, the Caribbean operations manager is promising a great show.
“We're all set for Sunday and it's going to be a phenomenal show,” she added.
In addition to the African contingent, Ziggy Marley, Beenie Man, Papa Michigan, Flourgan, Ras Takura, and D'Yani are scheduled to perform. The show begins at 8:00 pm and can be view on IRAWMA's YouTube channel, Onstage TV, IRIE FM, and PBCJ TV.
Buju Banton leads this year's nominations with 11; Bounty Killer, Popcaan and Koffee are tied with six each; Skip Marley, Protoje, and Beenie Man have five apiece; while Gramps Morgan and Tarrus Riley secured four respectively. Sean Paul, Shenseea and Rvssian with three each.
There will be three special awards on the evening: Joe Bogdanvich will receive a Special Philanthropist Award; Ziggy Marley (IRAWMA Hall of Fame/Lifetime Achievement Award) for more than 40 years contribution to reggae music; and Papa Michigan (IRAWMA Award of Honour).
Established in 1982, IRAWMA acknowledges the accomplishments and contributions of reggae and world music artistes, songwriters, performers, and promoters. It was first held in Jamaica in 1991 in Montego Bay.
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