Former governor of Lagos State and leader of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu, was honored, last weekend, at the just concluded all Africa Music Awards, AFRIMA, in Lagos.
Tinubu was honoured as the Pillar of Arts and Culture in Africa for social change, and the award was presented by Ambassador (Dr) Wale Maiyegun, director of social affairs, at the African Union, on behalf of the African Union Commission and the International Committee of AFRIMA.
While it was clear that the seasoned politician was appreciative of the award, he took time to extol the virtues of the entertainment industry and its contribution to nation building.
The former governor, who expressed his appreciation to the African Union Commission for the honour, said AFRIMA has shown that there are assets of cultural variables that can be harnessed and appreciated in the African diversity, and that AFRIMA has demonstrated how African talents can be brought together to promote peace, wealth and prosperity in the country.
Giving his inspiring acceptance speech, Tinubu highlighted the benefits of a united Africa through arts, culture and entertainment.
“It is with very humble respect that I accept this honour on behalf of my country. It’s a gift for all the talents in Africa. Tonight is a night of culture, a night of Africa. It is a night of talent, a night that shows that we all belong to one single humanity. We had the situation, some years back, where artistes were not rewarded, but tonight, we are demonstrating to the rest of the world that culture, talent and artistry are unifiers. The unity of Africa is demonstrated here tonight.
“This is a great opportunity and demonstration that the young ones, the youth across Africa are our future and you can do more to unite us with culture around the world. We can walk out of poverty. We can defeat and break the shackles of ignorance and disease by recognising and promoting our talents. Each time you turn on the television and open your heart to the need of our youths, you will see the economic opportunity of these talented youths blossoming. In the last five years, the contributions of the youth and culture increased tremendously. The contributions from our artists are phenomenal now.
“I believe you believe in what I believe. You share my values for African renaissance. It is not only the faces of shrinking ugly children infested by famine that is the face of Africa. We’ve seen the faces of talents here. If we work hard and forge together, we can bring Africa back with pride, talent and culture. We believe that Africa will continue to be great and will take its pride of place across the world and its talents and culture will be promoted,” he stressed.
There were over 20 earth-shaking performances at the award night led by a collaborative performance by multiple award winning Ladysmith Black Mambazo and Cobhams as well as Diamond Platinum (Tanzania), Kimani, Vanessa Mdee, Waje, Darey, Charlotte Dipanda, Kunle Ayo, Olamide, Stanley Enow, Dark Suburb, Wiyaala, AKA, Busiswa, sauti Sol, Betty Akna among others.
34 awards were handed out at AFRIMA 2015, with Cameroonian artistes and Tanzania artistes, Charlotte Dipanda and Diamond Platnumz, emerging the winner with three awards each.

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