News

Who Won What At The MTV Africa Music Awards?

South Africa came out on top at the 2014 MTV Africa Music Awards, which featured performances by Miguel, Trey Songz and French Montana.


Sarkodie & Miguel at the 2014 MTV Africa Music Awards (photo via Sarkodie's twitter)

Over the weekend artists and performers from across the continent gathered at the Durban International Convention Centre for the 2014 MTV Africa Music Awards. After a three-year hiatus, the star-studded event sponsored by MTV Base and KwaZulu-Natal Province brought out some of the continent's biggest names in music as well as a few acts from across the Atlantic, including Miguel, Trey Songz, and French Montana. Aside from the performances and award winners, twitter was abuzz with mass frustration over host Marlon Wayans' questionable brand of comedy at the continent's expense. Yet despite Wayans' problematic commentary, the show went on. Nigeria and South Africa each came out on top with six and five award winners respectively and a slew of crowd-pleasing performances. South African trio Mafikizolo kicked off the show with an electrifying performance of their dancefloor anthem “Khona.” Later on Simphiwe Dana paid tribute to Nelson Mandela, performing in front of a time-lapsed video of a Mandela-inspired mural painted by South African artist Rasty. In the most unexpected performance of the night, Ladysmith Black Mambazo reworked some of the biggest dancefloor hits over the past couple years, including D'Banj's "Oliver Twist" and Uhuru's “Y-tjukutja.” Peep the full list of winners (and their videos) below.

Artist of the Year: Davido (Nigeria)

Best Male: Davido (Nigeria)

Best Female: Tiwa Savage (Nigeria)

Best Group: Mafikizolo (South Africa)

Best New Act: Stanley Enow (Cameroon)

Best Live Act: Flavour (Nigeria)

Best Collaboration: “Y-tjukutja” – Uhuru ft. Oskido, DJ Bucks, Professor and Yuri Da Cunha (South Africa/Angola)

Best Hip Hop: Sarkodie (Ghana)

Best Francophone: Toofan (Togo)

Best Lusophone: Anselmo Ralph (Angola)

Song of the Year: “Khona” – Mafikizolo ft. Uhuru (South Africa)

Best Video: Clarence Peters (Nigeria)

Best Pop: Goldfish (South Africa)

Best International: Pharrell

Best Alternative: Gangs of Ballet (South Africa)

Personality of the Year: Lupita Nyong’o (Kenya)

MTV Base Leadership Award: Ashish J. Thakkar (Tanzania)

Transform Today Award by Absolut: Clarence Peters (Nigeria)

Music

6 Samples From 'Éthiopiques' in Hip-Hop

A brief history of Ethio-jazz cultural exchange featuring songs by Nas & Damian Marley, K'naan, Madlib and more.

This article was originally published on OkayAfrica in March, 2017. We're republishing it here for our Crossroads series.

It's 2000 something. I'm holed up in my bedroom searching for samples to chop up on Fruity Loops. While deep into the free-market jungle of Amazon's suggested music section, I stumble across a compilation of Ethiopian music with faded pictures of nine guys jamming in white suit jackets. I press play on the 30 second sample.

My mind races with the opportunities these breakbeats offered a budding beat maker. Catchy organs, swinging horns, funky guitar riffs, soulful melodies and grainy and pained vocalists swoon over love lost and gained. Sung in my mother tongue—Amharic—this was a far cry from the corny synthesizer music of the 1990s that my parents played on Saturday mornings. I could actually sample this shit.

The next day, I burn a CD and pop it into my dad's car. His eyes light up when the first notes ooze out of the speakers. “Where did you get this?" He asks puzzlingly. “The internet," I respond smiling.

In the 1970s my dad was one of thousands of high school students in Addis Ababa protesting the monarchy. The protests eventually created instability which lead to a coup d'état. The monarchy was overthrown and a Marxist styled military junta composed of low ranking officers called the Derg came to power. The new regime subsequently banned music they deemed to be counter revolutionary. When the Derg came into power, Amha Eshete, a pioneering record producer and founder of Ahma Records, fled to the US and the master recordings of his label's tracks somehow ended up in a warehouse in Greece.

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