Shaping activities for the 2016 edition of All Africa Music Awards (AFRIMA), African Union Commission (AUC) and The International Committee of AFRIMA paid a courtesy visit to the former President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, GCFR, on Friday March 26, 2016 at his residence in Abeokuta, Ogun State, Nigeria.
Obasanjo commended AFRIMA and AUC for unifying Africa through music. He said music was part of African Culture and reiterated the need for music and culture to be commercialised in order to create jobs and reduced poverty among African youths. He implored AFRIMA and AUC not to relent in achieving their objectives and called on brands and governments in Africa to partner with AFRIMA. He recalled similar projects as president like All African Games (COJA 2003) and Festival of Art and Culture in Africa (FESTAC '77) as platforms for promoting African culture and unity that require huge resources to organise.
He thanked AFRIMA for honouring him with their visit and challenged the AFRIMA Executive Producer to a squash game thereafter.
Earlier in his opening remark, the President and Executive Producer of AFRIMA, Mr. Mike Dada said, "the meeting and visit was in recognition of the former president as the former Chairperson of the African Union (AU) between July 2004 to January 2006. He is an African global icon, a cultural enthusiast and champion of African renaissance."
He intimated the former president with the objectives of the All African Music Awards, AFRIMA which is mainly to unite Africans through the instrumentality of art, music, culture and entertainment as well as promote and reward upcoming and established talents on the continent.
Said he "AFRIMA remains steadfast to the AUC’s values of promoting African unity and celebrating cultural uniqueness, thereby thanked the former President for receiving AFRIMA team at his residence and specially invited him to the 2016 AFRIMA schedule to hold in November’.
A giant photo frame for his 79 birthday and Djembe drum were presented to the Former President by the AFRIMA Director of Sponsorship and Communications, Matlou Tsotsesi with the support of the AFRIMA 2015 winner of Best RnB & Soul in Africa, Praiz and Communication Manager,ONE Campaign Africa, Nde Nfodinka (Wax Dey).
The 30-man AFRIMA team that comprise AFRIMA Associate Co-Producer, Efe Omorogbe, AFRIMA jury Member, Mr. Laolu Akins, AFRIMA media Committee member and Mr. Biodun Kupoluyi, AFRIMA Production Manager, Mr. Henry Alade, Entertainment Editor of The Sun Newspaper, Mr.Tosin Ajirire among others were later treated to a scrumptious indigenous food; Amala (Yam flour) with gbegiri soup (cooked mashed coatless beans soup) and ewedu (smashed jute leaf and melon seed) in Abeokuta.
In partnership with the African Union Commission, AUC, The All Africa Music Awards, AFRIMA, is a music property developed to celebrate, reward and showcase the rich musical culture of Africa, stimulate conversations among Africans and between Africa and the rest of the globe about the great potentials and values of the African culture and artistic heritage for the purpose of creating jobs, reducing poverty, calling attention of world leaders to Africa and promoting the positive image of Africa to the world.