Veteran Kenyan singer Tetu Shani has called out the AFRIMA AWARDS organizers for poor coordination and communication. Tetu was nominated at the AFRIMAWARDS as Best Artiste in African Rock for his song Furukazi.

So Tetu took to Twitter to rant because the nominees were not provided with opportunities to provide feedback.

The singer stated that his desire was for AFRIMA to consider his feedback. And provide an even better experience next year for nominees.

See entire thread here.

Fake promises

Tetu complained that all nominees received a letter, which he attached. And the letter made it clear what AFRIMA would be covering, that is flights, accommodation while there, all meals and good ground transport.

However, this was never to be fulfilled. Because communication with a staff member assigned to them was erratic and last minute.

After having spent 5k on the visa another 5k on the Covid test 72 hours before flying, we were told the DAY BEFORE our flight that we needed to register for our Nigerian covid tests before flying and registration cost $131. A cost the equivalent of 15,000kshs is not something that a nominee should be told the day before their flight especially if they can’t get on the flight without it. Argued Tetu.

As if that was not enough, upon getting to Lagos, they had to wait for about two hours until accommodation was organized for them. Whole time no refreshments were offered and no communication whatsoever. So they were left wondering what as going on. (Kwani tuko nchi ingine?)

No meals

Eventually, they were taken to their hotel rooms and assigned handlers who would be passing information. However, the handlers were never available. Despite most of the nominees being hungry and tired from the long flights, there still was no communication.

They later learned that AFRIMA would not be covering all meals as the letter stated. But they would only get bed, breakfast, and one other meal.

Shani went on to fault how the media people asked questions. He complained that they only asked questions related to Nigeria and had nothing to do with his nomination.

Questions like “Who would you like to collaborate with in Nigeria?,” “what do you like most about Nigeria?” And the one that annoyed me most, “What is to your biggest song in Nigeria?” How on earth would possibly know and why is the relevant to my nomination?

The DJs on the other hand played only Afrobeats and Amapiano. Barely played songs from other countries and the nominees as you would expect. Homie could have done his research and played hits from each of the nominees countries or even the nominees music. It would have set a very positive tone if @AFRIMAWARDS had insisted that all DJs at the award events play a diverse set of music from different countries. Especially because it’s the All Africa Music Awards

Poor diversity

He had also raised issues of poor diversity in terms of event panelists whom he said were not a true representation of the different counties and cultures showcased.

This was a potentially powerful moment where music professionals from each region in Africa could provide perspective and solutions on the unique challenges of artists and stakeholders in the individual regions but nope. It was all Nigerian perspectives,” Tetushani noted.

Please diversify your moderators. Diversify your panelists as well. They can’t and shouldn’t be mostly Nigerian men. If each region is represented, it will provide a more comprehensive view of what the music industry in Africa looks like,” he said.


To top it off, the singer added how he was embarrassed at the hotel when he was accused of eating twice at the buffet. And at one point stopped at the door when he went to have lunch. I was told by the restaurant receptionist at Eko that they were given strict instructions by @AFRIMAWARDS that nominees are meant to pay for their own meals on that day. I asked if it was just lunch but was told it was both lunch and dinner. Honestly, I was so embarrassed. He, however, made noise and was escorted to the 5-star wing of the hotel to eat.

In conclusion, Tetu has asked AFRIMA to honor their nominees regardless of their country, to provide for them, to communicate with them, and protect them from disrespect.

AFRIMA responds to Tetu

You would think that AFRIMA would issue a normal response. Instead, they went ahead and issued an arrogant response arguing that the nominees that did not win were unhappy. (meaning Tetu was issuing complaints because he did not win.)

Although some of the nominees that didn’t win are unhappy, it is our goal to widely celebrate the hard-work of all music icons on the Continent regardless of their nationalities, gender or language.

They wrote

In a Twitter thread seen on their official account, AFRIMA vaguely apologized for the awful experience they put nominees through. And tweeps were not having it. See thread here.

They disdainfully reminded Tetu to reach out to their officials directly to provide further clarifications and answers to his issues. We are glad you mentioned that you have direct contact of our officials, and we will be available at any time to provide further clarifications and answers to your poser.

See some reactions

What are your thoughts on this?

By Wanjiru Mbaru

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments