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Kenyans shine at AFRIMA awards

By Fay Ngina | November 23rd 2021

Nikita with the awards for Best Female Artiste in East Africa and Best Artiste, Duo, or Group in African R&B Soul title. [Courtesy]

Kenyan singers have again raised the country's flag in the music industry after winning the All Africa Music Awards (AFRIMA) 2021.

The live crowning event held in Lagos, Nigeria, saw Kenya's 19-year-old Nikita Kering beat Africa's heavyweights in the various nominated categories.

Nikita first took home the title for Best Female Artiste in East Africa. She was competing against Xenia Manasseh (Kenya), Karun (Kenya), Afrie (Uganda), Rema Namakula, DJ Harold & Chike (Uganda), Merry Zerabruk (Eritrea), Nandy (Tanzania), Rosa Ree (Tanzania), Spiece Diana (Uganda), and Zuchu (Tanzania).

The singer also bagged the Best Artiste, Duo, or Group in African R&B Soul title, beating other nominees such as Adekunle Gold, Tems, Wizkid, Omah Lay, T'neeya, Oxlade, Gyakie, Aya Nakamura, and Elaine.

Celebrating her win, Nikita wrote on Instagram, "THANK YOU!!! @afrima.awards. I did not do this alone, I did it with you. Thank you and Thank God. Best Artiste Rnb and Soul, Best Female Artiste East Africa."

Nikita was also nominated in the Song Writer of The Year category alongside Kenya's Bensoul, but the award went to Iba One of Mali.

Kenyan boy band Sauti Sol took home the title for Best African Group category. They had previously bagged the same title in AFRIMA's 2015

Hours after their win, Sauti Sol took to Instagram and posted a video thanking fans for support and voting for them.

Kenya's 13-year-old gospel singer Shanah Manjeru became the youngest ever AFRIMA winner after bagging the title Best African Female Artiste in Inspirational Music with her song God Will Make a Way

She beat other artistes in the category, including Noel Nderitu (Kenya), Ada Ehi (Nigeria), Afrie (Uganda), Eden (Ivory Coast), Nata (Sierra Leone), Ruth Asong (Cameroon), Montess (Cameroon), Diana Hamilton (Ghana), Kelly Khumalo (South Africa) and Kamo Mphela (South Africa).

The record for youngest AFRIMA winner was previously held by Nikita, who won Revelation of the African Continent and Best Female Artiste in Eastern Africa in AFRIMA's 2019. 

During an interview in 2019, the Universal Music signee said getting nominated and winning AFRIMA awards motivated her to keep working hard. 

"When I got nominated, I realised that AFRIMA is not just about picking the artiste with the most views or the most famous artiste. They were really looking into the art of the artistes; understanding where we are coming from, something you do not find in many places," said Nikita.

Other notable Kenyan nominees in the AFRIMA 2021 included Otile Brown and Khaligraph Jones (Best Male Artiste in East Africa), Nviiri the Storyteller (Best Newcomer, Best Song of the Year - Niko Sawa), Muthoni Drummer Queen (Best Female Rap).

The rest were Khaligraph Jones (Best Male Rap), DJ Shinski (Best African DJ USA), Deska Torres (Best Video Director), DJ Moh Spice (Best DJ Africa) and Jamal Gaddafi (Personality of the Year). 

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