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Kora Awards return with million dollar grand prize

It’s a little-known fact that the Kora All-Africa Music Awards is the brainchild of Namibian President Dr Hage Geingob and businessman Ernest Adjovi, at that time a resident of Namibia. Since the first ceremony in 1996, the Kora Awards have become synonymous with the best that Africa and the diaspora have to offer musically. The ceremony has been staged in South Africa, Ivory Coast and Burkina Faso. Now, in a move that brings the journey full circle, the KORA All-Africa Music Awards will be returning to Namibia for the 2015 edition of the event, due to take place on 13 December at the Windhoek Country Club Resort and Casino.

This year, the organisers have raised the bar by introducing a grand prize of one million US Dollars for the winner of the African Artist of the Year category. The various category and genre winners will all take home between $20 000 and $50 000, depending on the category.

Ernest Adjovi, Kora founder and executive producer, explained: “The KORA Awards have been unwavering in our commitment to rewarding and celebrating excellence in African music. From the beginning, we have been clear on this goal. We are delighted to be back home in Namibia and look forward to delivering an extravaganza that the entire world will tune in to watch. We have little doubt that the powerful partnerships we have forged will help us realise an awards ceremony to remember!”

The awards are set to take place on 13 December 2015 at the Legacy Hotel and Resort’s prestigious Windhoek Country Club Resort and Casino. Besides music, the Kora’s have historically been a site of incredible African glamour and fashion. The event will therefore be preceded by a fashion show on 11 December that will feature six accomplished designers from across the continent to honour that tradition of African chic.

Pohamba Shifeta, Namibia’s Minister of Environment and Tourism, said: “The association with the Kora All-Africa Music Awards represents an ideal partnership for the Department of Environment and Tourism. Travel and tourism is a major economic driver for Namibia. Recently, our nation had the distinction of climbing up 21 places in the World Economic Forum’s Tourism Competitive Index – we are officially amongst the top 5 destinations in sub-Saharan Africa. We have no doubt that the collaboration of an event of the stature of the Kora Awards will have a meaningful and sustained impact on tourism to Namibia, and are excited about the possibilities that this partnership offers.”

The Kora Awards has maintained its status as an incredible marketing platform for African talent, and fertile ground for collaborations and partnerships amongst African artists. Stars who have graced the Kora stage over the years include Angelique Kidjo, Koffi Olomide, Miriam Makeba, Thandiswa Mazwai, Michael Jackson, Shaggy, Rihanna, Salif Keita, Oliver Mtukudzi, Bebe Winans and Femi Kuti, amongst others. Recipients of the prestigious Lifetime and Legend Awards include the likes of the late Nelson Mandela, Cheick Modibo Diarra, Kofi Annan and Graca Machel.

  • Best Male Artist – West Africa: US$50 000
  • Best Female Artist – West Africa: $50 000
  • Best Male Artist – East Africa: $50 000
  • Best Female Artist – East Africa: $50 000
  • Best Male Artist – Central Africa: $50 000
  • Best Female Artist – Central Africa: $50 000
  • Best Male Artist of Southern Africa: $50 000
  • Best Female Artist – Southern Africa: $50 000
  • Best Male Artist – North Africa: $50 000
  • Best African Group: $20 000
  • Best Male Artist – Spiritual Music: $20 000
  • Best Female Artist – Spiritual Music: $20 000
  • Best Group – Spiritual Music: $20 000
  • Best Traditional Music Artist – Male $20 000
  • Best Traditional Music Artist – Female: $20 000
  • Best Traditional Music Group of Africa: $20 000
  • Most Promising Artist – Male: $20 000
  • Most Promising Artist – Female: $20 000
  • Best Artist of the African Diaspora: $20 000
  • Best Video of the year: $20 000
  • Best Collaboration of the year: $20 000
  • Best Album of the year: $20 000
  • Legend Award: $50 000
  • Best Hip Hop Artist: $20 000
  • Best Urban Music Artist: $20 000
  • Most Downloaded Song of the year: $20 000
  • Best Artist of the Continent: $1 000 000