The MOBO Awards: Best African Act and Why African artists should have more than one category

The MOBOs 2017 Best African Act Nominations are in!

Continuing on from last year I think 2017 has been another fairly successful year for Afrobeats commercially. We’ve seen the likes of Davido deliver two massive tracks with If and Fall, Wande Coal ride high off the success of last years Iskaba, Wizkid drop his major label debut (I want to write a post on how I really feel about SFTOS but I’m still in two minds about if I should post or not) release successful single Come Closer with Drake and become the first African artist to sell out the historical Royal Albert Hall. Mr Eazi became part of Apple Music’s Up Next campaign exposing new talent to the Mass Media and performing on The Late Show with James Corden and we received new bodies of work from Juls and Sarkodie to name a few.

With all that being said, the nominations for the MOBO Awards 2017 Best African Act have been announced and the top 10 are:

Davido

Mr Eazi 

Juls 

Wizkid

Wande Coal 

Tiwa Savage 

Maleek Berry 

Eugy 

Tekno 

Sarkodie  

I think I can agree with this list to some extent. I may have added Olamide, Burna Boy and Shatta Wale to the nominations as recognition however, I can totally understand this final selection. The votes are not open to the public this year and will instead be left to members of the best African Acts committee. The winner will be announced at the MOBO Awards on the 29th November at the First Direct Arena in Leeds U.K.

My personal opinion on this?

If we want to put it down to work rate this year.. I’m knocking it down to Davido, Sarkodie, Tekno, Juls, Maleek Berry & Mr Eazi. If we want to put it down to biggest hit in the past year.. That’s knocked down Wande Coal, Tekno, Maleek Berry, Davido, Mr Eazi and Wizkid. But if it comes down to what I expect to be which is a popularity showdown then it’s between WizKid & Davido. I would personally give it to Davido based on the two biggest Afrobeats tracks he’s released this year.

The thing about a best African act category is that it usually always comes down to who has the bigger fan base however the artist with a bigger fan base may not have had a big impact throughout that year if you get what I mean?. That’s why I always find these one off type of categories within black award shows (MOBOs and BET for example) kind of hazy. There’s no denying that Wizkid is the biggest artist out of the continent of Africa right now and although he has had a very successful year I wouldn’t say singles wise it was stronger than Davidos. I personally wouldn’t say Come Closer was a bigger track than If, FallIskaba or even Tekno’s Yawa (can be debated) however, as an international artist Wiz has a much larger fan base and could be seen as the bigger act overall.

I say all that to ask does this category come down to the act with the bigger fan base or the act that has released the best music over the span of the year? Maybe they should introduce a Best African Single category alongside these Best African Act categories. I think it’s only right that the biggest African single should be recognised as well as the best overall artist you get what I’m saying? Why is it called the Music Of Black Origin Awards if African acts only get one category in the mix?

Anyway, lets all tune in on the 29th of November and see who scoops the prestigious award and also see if any of our acts get the chance to perform this year 🙂

Click Here to see the rest of the Categories and Nominees for this years awards

P.S We as consumers, bloggers and tastemakers of the scene have to keep pushing in order to get our music, artists and genre recognised. Afrobeats is still a very small drop in a mighty ocean.
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One thought on “The MOBO Awards: Best African Act and Why African artists should have more than one category

  1. […] Your Body with Burna Boy. Celebrating his successful AFRIMMA award for Producer of the Year and his MOBO nomination for Best African Act Juls continues with the release of his latest single Gwarn featuring Burna […]

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