ABUJA, November 25 – Kenyan songstress Wahu Kagwi was named the best female artist in the MTV Africa Music Awards in Abuja, Nigeria this weekend.
At a blitzy ceremony attended by about 5,000 fans at the Abuja Velodrome on Saturday, a massively delighted Wahu was overcome with emotion when she was called up to receive her award.
“I dedicate this to my husband Nameless and my lovely daughter who is too young to understand the way she inspires me,” said a tearful Wahu.
She was up against Asa and Sasha of Nigeria, Dama Do Bling from Mozambique and South Africa’s Zonke. Wahu was also nominated for Best New Act, but lost out to Naeto C from Nigeria.
Nigerian artists dominated the MTV Awards, scooping six of the ten trophies. D’banj won both the artist of the year award and the best male award, while 9ice won the best Hip-hop award.
P-Square had a total of five nominations but went home with one prize, that of Best Group.
South Africa hip-hoppers Jozi won the award for the best live performers.
The event was hosted by BBC 1Xtra’s Trevor Nelson, while The Game, Kelly Rowland and FloRida performed at the stylish ceremony.
Other live acts included Seun Kuti, 9ice, and HHP from South Africa, who at one point joined Nigerian sensation Asa on her song ‘Jailer’. But the biggest fusion by far sported Kenya’s own Jua Cali with Nigerians Ikechukwu and Naeto C, and SA rockers Cassette.
The legend gong went to the late Fela Kuti, the Nigerian pioneer of Afrobeat, and was received by his children, Yemi and Seun.
All winners – apart from Fela – were selected through text messages sent by fans.
There was also a tribute to "Mama Africa" Miriam Makeba, the South African singer who died from a heart attack in early November.