Anyone would be forgiven for mistaking AFRIMA for AFRIMMA; it’s hard not to fall victim to such an error.


The latter held over the weekend and while African artistes were rewarded for their performance in the past 12 months, music fans were further left confused because while some headlines read ‘AFRIMMA’, others carried ‘AFRIMA’.

So what’s the difference?

Although they have near identical acronyms and were conceived in the same year, they are actually two distinct award ceremonies.


One is African Muzik Magazine Awards while the other is All Africa Music Awards.

Both award ceremonies celebrate the musical achievements of African artistes, but while one is held on the continent, the other takes place in North America.


AFRIMMA regards itself as “the sole award ceremony in the diaspora that caters to all musical genres including but not limited to Afrobeats, Assiko, Bongo, Decale, Funana, Genge, Highlife, Kwaito, Lingala and Soukous”.


The first edition of the AFRIMMA took place on July 26, 2014, at Eisseman Center, Dallas, Texas while the second edition took place on October 10, 2015, at The Black Academy of Arts and Letters.

The third AFRIMMA held on October 15, 2016, while the fourth recently took place at The House of Blues in Dallas, Texas.

Among the ethos of AFRIMMA is a “commitment to writing the African music story on the world map and “crossing boundaries with music”.

Comedian, Basketmouth, has hosted all the editions of AFRIMMA. The award ceremony, which also includes a music festival, is organised by Big A Entertainment.



The All Africa Music Awards says its aim is to “promote the distinct rich African music worldwide, engaging millions of fans by propelling African music to glorious pinnacles beyond the borders of Africa”.

AFRIMA’s mission, according to its organisers, is to “recognise, award, promote and preserve Africa’s rich music culture”.

Like AFRIMMA, there have also been three editions of AFRIMA, with the fourth slated for November 12.

At the award’s inception, Nigeria won the hosting right for three consecutive years (2014 to 2016).


Exactly one month ago, the African Union (AU) awarded the hosting right of AFRIMA to Nigeria for another three years. Hence, the country will continue to host the award till 2019.

The AU-backed award ceremony has a lot more activities than just the handing out of plaques. It entails the AFRIMA Village, a four-day open festival-like music concert, AFRIMA Summit, and the award ceremony proper.

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