The first annual African Entertainment Awards USA was last Saturday evening, October 31st at the Mary Burch Theater on the campus of Essex County College., to a eager and excited crowd. The awards, co-sponsored by the Essex County College Africana Institute and Empak Corporation, and was produced by Cameroon-born, Newark resident, Dominic Tamin. This event is the first of it kind to showcase Africa artist in the USA.
Mr. Tamin stated that the purpose ppt the award show is to “highlight and crate a platform for African’s to be heard, It is also important to note that the African Entertainment Awards is meant to showcase and promote the contributions of African businesses and individuals in the US, and lastly to create awareness of issues affecting the African Diaspora in the US and territories.”
The festivities were a rousing success as myriad artists from the African continent and the Caribbean gathered in celebration of the arts, culture, community and most of all unity. With goals of being more than simply another awards show, the African Entertainment Awards aim to promote, uplift, enhance and united Africans globally and to create a platform for addressing issues affecting Africans in the United States. One cause promoted during the celebration was the creation of a Congressional African Immigrant Caucus which will champion the cause of African immigrants through the legislative process. A portion of the proceeds of this event is to be donated to “Save of Nation”. which is a partnering organization dedicated to helping orphans who lost their parents form th Ebola epidemic, primarily in West African Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea.
Present at the festivities and demonstrating their support were members of the Newark Africa Commission headed by Barbara King. Council members include Daniel Mengara (Gabon), Anatole Toukam (Cameroon), Winnifred Victor-Hinds (Haiti), Sheriff Mohammed (Liberia), Abdul Swaray (Liberia) and Sunny Faye (Senegal).
The show was hosted by comedians Comrade Fatso from Zimbabwe and Newark funny man Hassan Oliver and featured live performances by Ommy Dimpoz (Tanzania), Wanito (Haiti), Togar Howard (Liberia), Eddy Kenzo (Uganda), Kirk Brown (Barbados), Gilyto (Cape Verde) and Pastor Bonnie Deuschle (Zimbabwe).
Awards were presented to the following artists and individuals: Best Male Artist – Eddie Kenzo Best Female Artist – Yemi Alade Best New Artist – MC Galaxy Best Upcoming Artist – Sudan Best Gospel Group – Bonnie Deuschle and Celebration Choir Best Comedian – Kansiime Anne Best Fashion Designer – Catherine Henry Humanitarian Award – People’s Choice Award – Ommy Dimpoz Best Collaboration – DJ Darcie featuring Nascimento, Petro Show and Maya Zuda Hottest Male Single of the Year – Ntampata Wapi (Diamond Platinumz) Hottest Feale Single of the Year – Nguva Yangu (Selmor Mtukudzi) Best Male Palop – Anselmo Ralph Best Female Palop – Neyma Tamin Award of Honor – TheBen Best Promoter – DMK Global Best African Restaurant – Madiba Restaurant (Brooklyn).
The most impactful award went to Claudine Mukamabano of the Rwanda Orphans Support Project (Akon Community Award), a Rwandan genocide orphan survivor, has received recognition from turning a life of hardship into one of leadership and advocacy. The 2013 African Brave Award Winner, 2012 Humanitarian Achievements Award Winner and the 2010 Ambassador for Peace Award Winner,ClaudineShe is the Founder & CEO of WHY DO I EXIST?/ KUKI NDIHO RWANDA ORPHANS SUPPORT PROJECT & The UN PEACE DAY IN RWANDAOn the occasion of the 55th session of the Commission on the Status of Women at the United Nations on February 2011, Marie Claudine was selected as the only representative of Africa women to speak on the panel “Sharing Knowledge – Joining Forces – Gaining Power: Mentoring as a Tool to Empower NGO Women”.In 2007, as a Professional Mistress of Ceremonial and Special Event Organizer, she helped to establish “African Day Parade” and volunteered as Committee Member. She is also an influential speaker, actress, artist, and model. She dances at universities, churches and community groups as part of the Rwanda Dance Theater Company. …
The organization has said they have already begun to work on next years African awards.