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Winning Two AFRIMA Awards in 2019 Changed My Career – Nikita Kering

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Nikita Kering is an award-winning 19-year-old singer and songwriter born and raised in Nairobi, Kenya. In 2019 at 17, she won AFRIMA’s ‘Best Female Artiste in Eastern Africa’ and ‘Revelation of the African Continent’. She rose to stardom after her song ’Tragedy’ that addressed violence in romantic relationships hit the airwaves.

The song was an EmPawa project sponsored by African superstar Mr. Eazi. Born on February 26, 2002, to parents, Joseph and Anne Kering, she attended the Riara Springs Academy, Kilimani Junior Academy and Brookhouse International School where she graduated with a diploma in Business and Technology in Music. She started her music career in 2007 and was mentored by gospel artiste, Emmy Kosgei.

Kering has gone on to become one of the most talented artistes in Kenya. Her works include A Side Of Me and EP; her biggest song yet, EX, had up to 800,000 streams in just two weeks after she dropped it. In 2018, she won the Pulse Music Video Award for Best New Artiste. As an artiste, Kering likes making music and chilling with friends. She says music surrounds her and it’s her life. She looks forward to exploring music as she sings across a spectrum of genres including R&B, Afro-Pop, Pop, and a bit of Afrobeat.

The Universal Music signee spoke about her music career, what defines her music and winning AFRIMA award in 2019 at age 17.

YOU have once again been nominated for All Africa Music Awards (AFRIMA), which you won in 2019 at age 17. How do you feel about this nomination?

It’s something that makes me very happy; it encourages me to keep on working harder; it lets me know that there are people around Africa and around the world listening to my music. This makes me very happy, and  encourages me to work even harder than I am.

What is your view of AFRIMA awards?

When I got nominated I realised that AFRIMA isn’t 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 don’t find in many places. I’m just happy that they are able to see real artiste from afar and give them a platform, which I’m really happy about.

What has winning the 23.9 carat gold-plated AFRIMA trophy done for your person and career?

As I like to tell people, the award is never about the trophy itself; the trophy for me is a symbol of the whole process. I’m also glad that I was put on the stage and was able to perform where millions of people around the world watched me. I’m very much pleased about that.

You won two awards at AFRIMA 2019 when you were just 17, what impact did these awards have on your career? And what was your experience like performing at the AFRIMA 2019?

Performing on the AFRIMA like I said earlier was awesome. I got to work with a lot of professionals and experts I wasn’t exposed to at that time because I haven’t experienced the quality of organisations and artistes that I was able to collaborate with.

So being able to get a platform like AFRIMA is heartwarming, interacting with people within the various societies in that environment, whether it is the artistes, the managers, music producers and beat makers at the summit, I was able to learn something from every one of them. The experience has helped me to be a better musician. So it was more of a learning experience than anything.

Looking at your career before AFRIMA and now, what would you say has changed?

My drive definitely; it has made me work harder. I was able to receive such accolades that I imagined if I put in twice the amount of work than I was and just keep working harder, then the success will be twice or thrice the amount that it was. So it has definitely made me a different person, made me work harder. It has also given a strong leverage when it comes to speaking to younger people, because when you say you won an AFRIMA award people will start to listen, which is a bit sad because it’s my work that actually projects me not accolades or validation from other individuals.

However, it has afforded me the opportunity to speak to the youths in the language that they understand and I’m happy that it has given me a level of influence that I didn’t have before that. Again, I would have won the trophy and a few seconds of fame and gone back to sit down and bask in my glory but I decided to take that and put in more craft and work twice as harder to make sure that I keep that engine running and that is why I’m here today. I don’t allow a symbol or anything like that to define who I’m. So I will definitely say that I’m where I’m today because of the hard work I keep putting in everyday.

What should your fans across the continent expect as you return to the AFRIMA stage for the second time in Nigeria?

I don’t want to raise their hopes, so they should not expect anything because I don’t know what my plans are. I don’t structure my creativity, I let  it flow and I think that is different about artistes. The only thing I will allow them to expect from me is the truth, honesty in my work, which I’m sure they love. 

WHAT is your view of the continent’s sounds and which of these do you find more appealing?

I’m a fan of Southern African music, and I’m very happy that we are still being influenced by our cultures from a long time ago. So, I’m very pleased that we are able to keep our identity, preserve and let it grow for musical artiste to find inspiration from. Now, we are beginning to go back into the communities to find out what makes music in their culture. So, I’m just very happy that African music is now greatly appreciated across the world compared to the past. I don’t really like any kind of African music specifically. I have a heart for all of them but I really find a piece of comfort listening to artistes themselves not just about the sound but the message they are trying to deliver. We can consider music in genres but it must not be that one genre is more appealing or superior than the other in my eyes. For me it’s about the artiste and how they are delivering their message.

Talking about Afro-Pop and Afrobeat, particularly Afrobeat, how much has this genre influenced your style as an artiste?

I will say it has influenced me a lot. Growing up in Kenya, mainstream radio stations were playing either Afrobeat or R&B.  There was no other thing, except reggae. The night life was completely taken over by Afrobeat and R&B from Psquare to D’Banj. As crazy as the genre was in Nigeria, so it was in Kenya all those days. I will say that it has really been a lot easier for me to be versatile with style and my writing. I know that if I didn’t have such exposure from a young age, it would have been very difficult for me to write music in Afro-Pop.

 I appreciate artistes who write their own stuff because it makes the story a lot more personal. So, because I really wanted to be unique, I write my own content. I’m glad that I was able to be positively influenced by all those in the music that I do right now.  

WHAT influenced your decision to go into music professionally?

Well, my family is not musically talented. So, sometimes I think that my music is a gift to me by accident. Well it’s a gift, perhaps I need to go back and find out where it came from. However, I found that my parents discovered I was musically gifted, and that opportunity exposed me and had me perform at family functions, weddings, church and all that good stuff. It really made me fall in love with performing. After that I met Emmy Kosgei and performing with him just made me know that music is what I want to do professionally in my life because I have fallen in love with it and here we are.

What was your parents’ reaction the first time you told them music is what you want to do professionally?

Well, I didn’t tell them I want to do music because my parents are uniquely different from a lot of parents back then. My mother is a creative person and she is learned. I think she didn’t get the opportunity to explore her creative art, so she allowed me to do my music. As a matter of fact, she instigated the whole process.

AFRIMA 2021 holds at Eko Hotel and Suites, Lagos, Nigeria from Friday, November 19 – Sunday, November 21, 2021. Preceding the award ceremony is the African Music Business Summit (AMBS), a platform for business networking and interaction among music professionals which will take place on Friday, November 19, 2021at 8.30am. AFRIMA Music Fest, an evening of non-stop music concerts with live performances from African music superstars will take place on the same day of November 19 from 6.00pm.

Sunday, November 21, 2021 comes with all the glitz and glam from Africa’s music superstars, celebrities, and international personalities at AFRIMA Awards ceremony with Red Carpet at 4.30pm and main awards at 7.30pm. Voting and ticket sales are ongoing on AFRIMA website www.afrima.org.

AFRIMA has been regarded as the ultimate celebration and recognition of African talents and creatives globally since 2014.

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EVENT NEWS

Lions Club To Undertake Free Health Screening At Adamorobe On December 1

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Health care in many parts of Ghana continues to be a challenge for residents, and in recent months, the focus on the Covid-19 pandemic has affected the advocacy and support for other life-threatening diseases, such as diabetes and HIV/AIDS.

For this reason, members of Lions Club International, District 418, Ghana, plan to hold a free health screening at Adamorobe, in the Akwapim South District, on Wednesday, December 1, 2021.

Lions, together with St. Paul Anglican Child Development Center, and with support from a team of medical personnel and pharmaceutical suppliers, plan to screen residents for diabetes, malaria and HIV/AIDS. There will also be free eye and dental checks on the day.

The team will use the opportunity to also provide community members with important education on how to recognise, prevent and treat these diseases to ensure that their spread is controlled.

In a statement, the Lions Clubs explained that the date was chosen in order to tie together the celebration of World Diabetes Day (WDD), which is celebrated annually on 14 November, and World AIDS Day, which occurs on 1 December every year. The statement said that this year’s respective themes of “Access to Diabetes Care: If not now, when?” and “End Inequalities.

End AIDS” are “most significant” because underprivileged communities such as Adamorobe are being left behind on such essential services. “Lions are community leaders and facilitators, and we need to do all we can to improve access to important health care facilities and personnel.”

The Lions Club is the world’s largest service organization, made up of men and women who volunteer their time to identifying and solve community needs and challenges. This activity is being hosted by the Accra Ebony, Accra Diamond, Adenta Mountain View, and Accra Harmony Lions Clubs.

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IBA ONE, WIZKID, NIKITA KERING, FLAVOUR, BLAQ DIAMOND, MAKHADZI, FALLY IPUPA, KOFFI OLOMIDE, OTHERS WIN BIG AT AFRIMA 2021

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The biggest Music Awards in Africa, All Africa Music Awards (AFRIMA) 2021 ended on Sunday, November 21, 2021, after four days of scintillating and world- class production of events as Iba One, Wizkid, Nikita Kering, Fally Ipupa, Mahadzi, Blaq Diamond, koffi Olomide and other African music superstars within the continent and the Diaspora were recognized and celebrated for their creativity through music. AFRIMA 2021 held from November 18- 21 at Eko Hotels and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos, Nigeria with live broadcast on 84 television stations in 109 countries.

The surprise of the night was Malian Singer, Iba One who emerged the top winner in five categories including ‘Best Male Artiste in Western Africa’, ‘Album of the Year’ and ‘Best Artiste, Duo, or Group in African Pop’. He also won in the ‘Best Male Artiste in African Inspirational Music’ and ‘Songwriter of the Year’ categories.

Wizkid who was nominated in six categories followed closely, winning in the ‘Best African Collaboration’, ‘Song of the Year’, and ‘Artiste of the Year’ categories with his hit song, ‘Essence’ featuring Tems. Kenyan teenage singer, Nikita Kering bagged two awards in ‘Best Female Artiste in Eastern African’ and “Best Artiste, Duo, or Group in African RnB’ categories. AFRIMA 2021 youngest nominee, 13-year-old Shanah Manjeru from Kenya emerged as the winner in the ‘Best African Female Artiste in Inspirational Music’ category.

Winners in other categories of the award are ‘Best Male Artiste in Northern Africa’ (Dizzy Dros – Morocco),  ‘Best Female Artiste in Western Africa’ (Djelykaba Bintou – Guinea), ‘Best Artiste, Duo or Group in African Traditional’ (Yonas Maynas -Eritrea), ‘Breakout Artiste of The Year’ (Djelykaba Bintou-Guinea), ‘Best Artiste, Duo or Group in African Jazz’ (Hornsphere-Kenya), ‘Best Female Artiste in Southern Africa’ (Cleo Ice Queen-Zambia), ‘Best African Artiste, Rapper or Lyricist’ (Elow’n -Cote D’Ivoire), ‘Best African DJ’(Dj Sinyorita-Tanzania), ‘Best African Video’ (Steven Awuku-Guinea), ‘Best Female Artiste in Northern Africa’ (Manal-Morocco), ‘Best Artiste, Duo or Group in African Reggae, Ragga’ (Stonebwoy feat. Davido – Ghana), ‘African Fans Favourite’ (Fireboy DML-Nigeria), ‘Best Male Artiste in Central Africa’(Fally Ipupa feat. Dadju-Congo, Democratic Republic), and “Best African Artiste, Duo, Group or Band’ (Sauti Sol feat. Bensoul, Nviiri The storyteller -Kenya).

 The well attended event had dignitaries from all walks of life including ambassadors and members of the diplomatic corps from 18 countries, chief executive of corporations, African Union Commission officials, executives of music labels and recording companies as well musicians across the world.

Other winners according to the result presented by the global auditing firm, Pricewaterhousecoopers (PWC) are ‘Best Male Artiste in Eastern Africa’ (Eddy Kenzo-Uganda), ‘Best Artiste, Duo or Group in African Rock’ (RASH-Kenya), ‘Best Male Artiste in Southern Africa’(Blaq Diamond -South Africa), ‘Best Global Act’ (Beyonce feat. Wizkid, Blue Ivy Carter & SAINt JHN-United States), ‘Best Female Artiste in Central Africa’-(Shan’L  feat. Fally Ipupa – Gabon), ‘Best Artiste, Duo or Group in African Contemporary’ (Majoos feat. Koffi Olomide-Congo, Democratic Republic), ‘Producer of the Year’ (Legendury Beatz-Nigeria), ‘Best Female African Act in Diaspora’ (Naomi Achu-Cameroon/United States), ‘Most Promising African Artiste’ (El Grande Toto feat. Damso-Morocco), ‘Best Artiste, Duo or Group in African Electro’ (Makhadzi feat. Mr Brown-South Africa), ‘Best Artiste, Duo or Group in African Dance or Choreography’ (Flavour feat. Fally Ipupa & Diamond Platnumz-Nigeria), ‘Best Artiste, Duo or Group in African Hip Hop’ (Cheque feat. Fireboy DML-Nigeria), and ‘Best Male African Act in Diaspora’ (Rotimi-Nigeria/United States).

For her role in the movement to make Juneteenth a national holiday in commemoration of the June 19, 1865 announcement of General Order No. 3 by Union Army general, Gordon Granger, proclaiming freedom for slaves in Texas, African-American 95-year-old activist, Opal Lee was given a lifetime achievement award at AFRIMA 2021. The award was received by her granddaughter who came into Lagos from the United States. Congolese Soukus singer, dancer, producer, and composer, Antoine Christophe Agbepa Mumba, known professionally as Koffi Olomide received AFRIMA 2021 Legend Award.

The award ceremony which was preceded by red carpet was electrified by many artistes with performances from Shanah, Patoranking, Makhadzi, Ruger, Zuchu, Ladipoe, Olakira, Chike, Blaq Diamond, Platini P, Calema, Remy Adan, Nomcebo of the Jerusalema fame, Zoe Modiga, Sorais Ramos, D’Banj, Cavemen and Aramide who rendered a song in honour of the late Sound Sultan and other music super stars that died in the year under review and during COVID-19 pandemic.

The President and Executive Producer of AFRIMA, Mike Dada, said: “AFRIMA was created to tell a positive African story through music rather than complain and lament about the negative perception of the continent by others.”

Since 2014, AFRIMA in conjunction with the African Union Commission has been regarded as the ultimate celebration of African talent in the continent and the Diaspora.

S/NWINNERCATEGORYCOUNTRY
1SHAN’LBEST FEMALE ARTIST CENTRAL AFRICAGABON
2FALLY IPUPAMALE ARTIST CENTRAL AFRICADR CONGO
3NIKITA KERINGBEST FEMALE ARTIST IN EASTERN AFRICAKENYA
4EDDY KENZOBEST MALE ARTISTE IN EASTERN AFRICAUGANDA
5MANALBEST FEMALE ARTISTE IN NORTHERN AFRICAMOROCCO
6DIZZY DROSBEST MALE ARTISTE IN NORTHERN AFRICAMOROCCO
7CLEO ICE QUEENBEST FEMALE SOUTHERN AFRICAZAMBIA
8BLAQ DIAMONDBEST MALE SOUTHERN AFRICASOUTH AFRICA
9IBA ONEBEST MALE ARTISTE WESTERN AFRICAMALI
10DJELYKABA BINTOUBEST FEMALE ARTISTE WESTERN AFRICAGUINEA
11FIREBOY DMLAFRICAN FAN’S FAVORITENIGERIA
12IBA ONEALBUM OF THE YEARMALI
13WIZKIDARTISTE OF THE YEARNIGERIA
14NAOMI ACHUBEST AFRICAN ACT IN THE DIASPORA (FEMALE)CAMEROON & (USA)
15ROTIMIBEST AFRICAN ACT IN THE DIASPORA (MALE)NIGERIA & (USA)
16WIZKID, TEMSBEST AFRICAN COLLABORATIONNIGERIA
17DJ SINYORITABEST AFRICAN DJTANZANIA
18SAUTI SOLBEST DUO, GROUP OR BANDKENYA
19ELOW’NBEST AFRICAN RAPPER LYRICISTCOTE D’IVOIRE
20STEVEN AWUKUBEST AFRICAN VIDEOGUINEA
21STONEBWOYBEST ARTISTE, DUO OR GROUP IN AFRICAN REGGAE, RAGGA & DANCEHALLGHANA
22NIKITA KERING  BEST ARTISTE, DUO, OR GROUP IN AFRICAN R & B SOULKENYA
23FLAVOURBEST ARTIST OR DUO IN AFRICAN DANCE OR CHOREOGRAPHYNIGERIA
24CHEQUEBEST ARTISTE, DUO OR GROUP IN AFRICAN HIP HOPNIGERIA
25HORNSPHEREBEST ARTISTE, DUO OR GROUP IN AFRICAN JAZZKENYA
26RASH BANDBEST IN AFRICAN ROCKKENYA
27YONAS MAYNASBEST ARTISTE, DUO OR GROUP IN AFRICAN TRADITIONALERITREA
28MAKHADZIBEST ARTISTE, DUO OR GROUP IN AFRICAN ELECTROSOUTH AFRICA
29MAJOOSBEST ARTISTE, DUO OR GROUP IN AFRICAN CONTEMPORARYDR CONGO
30IBA ONEBEST ARTISTE, DUO, OR GROUP IN AFRICAN POPMALI
31SHANAH MANJERUBEST AFRICAN FEMALE ARTISTE IN INSPIRATIONAL MUSICKENYA
32IBA ONEBEST AFRICAN MALE ARTISTE IN INSPIRATIONAL MUSICMALI
33DJELYKABA BINTOUBREAKOUT ARTISTE OF THE YEARGUINEA
34EL GRANDE TOTOMOST PROMISING AFRICAN ARTISTEMOROCCO
35LEGENDARY BEATZBEST PRODUCER OF THE YEARNIGERIA
36WIZKID, TEMSSONG OF THE YEARNIGERIA
37IBA ONE  SONG WRITER OF THE YEARMALI
38KOFI OLOMIDELEGEND AWARDDR CONGO
39OPAL LEELIFE-TIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARDUSA
40BEYONCEBEST GLOBAL ACTUSA

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Nguvu Launches Men’s Grooming Kit With Reggie Rockstone

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Nguvu, Ghana’s leading producer of all natural and authentic shea butter cosmetic products has announced the launch of its latest Mr. R2G Men’s Grooming Kit.

In addition to the launch of the grooming kit, management of Nguvu have also unveiled Reggie Rockstone as the brand ambassador for the line.

As the iconic male figure he is in the Ghanaian society, Reggie Rockstone epitomizes all that the Nguvu Mr. R2G Men’s Grooming Kit stands for hence the decision to associate him with the brand.

The Mr. R2G Men’s Grooming kit is third gift set under the Nguvu Man range of products and consists of whipped shea cream, hemp hair oil, activated charcoal soap and a travel size comb set (wooden comb/mini scissors/suede portable pouch).

All products are made with carefully and sustainably sourced raw materials and are 100% natural. Furthermore, the products are made in Ghana and approved by the Food and Drugs Authority.

Speaking on the launch Francesca Apeagyei Co-Founder, Head Business Development at Nguvu, said “We are proud to introduce our new range of natural products under the Nguvu Men’s range to our customers.”

“As an authentic Ghanaian business, we are committed to innovation and ensuring that we make products that are safe as well as relevant to our customers and important to the times we live in. The R2G as we all know it as Refuse to Grow Men’s Grooming Kit is for the everyday man who wants to establish and maintain healthy hygiene habits for the good of his physical and overall quality of life”

Nguvu [in-goo-voo] simply means ‘strength’.

Nguvu is the quality of being a woman: Strong, Capable and Productive. For us, strength represents the beautiful women who work hard to pick and process our Shea Products.

Therefore, whenever you support Nguvu, you directly support thousands of women in rural Ghana to raise their standard of living and provide quality education for their children.

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