Voting for the inaugural pan-African music awards has been extended by three weeks.
Initially, the All Africa Music Awards (Afrima) were scheduled to take place on November 9 in Calabar, Nigeria, but the date has been shifted due to sponsorship deals.
“The All Africa Music Awards has undergone some urgent modifications to help Afrima better host Africa and the rest of the world.
According to the organisers, the reason for this is that a major continental sponsor was unable to conclude its commitment by the deadline required to deliver on the world-class event.
“Despite the fact that Nigeria has been certified Ebola free by the World Health Organisation [WHO], the sponsor stated concerns over the increasing scourge of Ebola in some West African countries from where nominees, awardees and guests are expected and the yet-to-be-resolved insurgency in Northern Nigeria,” reads a letter sent to all nominees, including Malawi’s Lawi.
The artist is Malawi’s sole nominee having been listed for the Best Male Artiste in Southern Africa for his hitThe Whistling Song. He faces Eddy Tussa, Kueno Aionda, The Dogg featuring Chesta, Heavy K featuring Professor for Beautiful War and Jah Prayzah.
The letter further states that the goals and aspirations of Afrima remain unchanged as well as the commitment of its regional directors.
“In spite of the development, the International Committee of Afrima is still committed to delivering a world-class event at a later date. However, the public and Afrima Academy voting on the Afrima website has been extended by three weeks. It will now end on November 25 and that means music fans still have more time to vote for their favourite artistes.
“The International Committee of Afrima sincerely apologises for any inconveniences this development may cause their partners and stakeholders across the world. We hope to get back to Africa soon with more details about the new date as we continue to look forward to having the world with us,” reads the letter signed by Adenrele Niyi, Afrima project director.
Lawi has since described the news as a blessing in disguise: “This gives more time to Malawians to vote for me. Let’s do this, for it is not for me, but for the country.”
To vote, visit www.afrima.org and look for best male southern Africa category and click the vote button on the side of Lawi’s picture.