Kenya’s STL struggled but her efforts to lift the local flag were thwarted by the overwhelming west and south African presence at the Channel O Awards ‘O’rena at the Sandstone Convention centre on Friday night.
Accompanied by her manager to the private awards ceremony, STL was well appreciated by the audience as she performed her nominated track Lookie Lookie in a medley that saw Nigeria’s Tiwa Savage precede her on stage with some kele kele(le).
In a racy short African print jumpsuit, Stella was disappointed not to have been bestowed an award despite three nominations.
A reprieve for east Africa however came in the form of Keko, whose remix of the track How We Do it featuring radio and weasle was crowned Most Gifted East African Video. Despite several nominations for Navio, his newcomer compatriot was a crowd favourite judging by all the catcalls and screams.
Nigeria was a big winner and so was South Africa, something organizers say had a lot to do with votes by fans or the lack thereof.
“Nigerians submitted the most votes,” said one official, amid revelations that the number of votes that came from Kenya were dismal.
In an entertaining show mixed by the talented Monare Ngobeni, the sultry show hostess Dineo wore several outfits that made her skin dazzle. Her handsome co-host Banky W managed to keep his hands to himself after being warned that Dineo’s mother was present!
The coveted title of Most Gifted Female Video went to a very delighted and surprised Lira.
“I’m completely surprised to have won tonight because the competition was so tough!” Lira told Capital Lifestyle.
“It means a lot to me because its a representation of how the whole of Africa voted. This celebration of African music through the Channel O award is crucial as it represents a chance for Africa to grow together. MTV brings Africa to the world, but channel O brings Africa together.”
Naeto C who won an award for Most Gifted African West Video for hitsong 10 over 10, could only smile and express his joy.
South African rapper Aka, who killed it onstage in an opening rap battle that also featured Keko, Navio, Crisis and Ice Prince walked away with Most Gifted Hip Hop Video award for his inspirational number Victory Lap.
“I would have liked to win all the awards for which I was nominated but I had to settle for this one,” he joked to Capital Lifestyle as he posed for photos.
“Awards like these give musicians hope. Like look at D’Banj, he’s been signed by Kanye West! Africans can do it.
D’Banj won two awards in absentia, one presented to him by Capital FM presenter and Channel O VJ Joey Muthengi, who looked stunning and coiffed in a fancy silver strap blue dress.
Flavour didn’t manage to win himself any awards, but he made do with the shrill screams everytime his name was mentioned in the nominations, and had many adoring females breathless when he agreed to take a picture with them after the award ceremony.
The after-party was held at the same centre, but the after-after party went down at Club ‘Hush’ until the wee hours of Saturday morning.
Despite Janet Jackson performing close by, it was clearly a night dedicated to African music.