She did not expect to be nominated nor did she expect to win a Kora because she was pitted against five best nominees. This is the statement of Aida Samb, the Senegalese enfant terrible of traditional music, who says she draws her strength in the traditional sounds and rhythms.
But like her counterparts Youssou Ndour, Baaba Maal and Ismael Lo, Samb believed in herself, in her hard work and talents, and finally was rewarded with the crown of West Africa’s Best Female Traditional Artist for her first CD Sarabaa. The 2012 edition of the famous music event took place in Abidjan, Ivory Coast and were graced by the presence of US bad boy Chris Brown and the highly-celebrated beauty Rihanna.
Brimming with humility, this talented musician, grand-daughter of the great griot (praise-singer) Samba Diabaré Samb, says she will not rush her career, but take one step at a time. The artist, who worked with several Senegalese artists, including Ndour, Maal and Abou Thiouballo before going solo, is due to perform at the Zenith of Paris alongside his fellow musician Pape Diouf in March this year.
As expected, South Africa rising star Zahara walked away with one Kora, the Best Female Artist from Southern Africa. Another surprise winner was DRC gospel singer Lydia Nseya, who was nominated against gospel giants such as L’Or Mbongo (DRC) and Rebecca of Nigeria.
This is the complete list of all 2012 winners:
*Best Artist of Africa: Dj Arafat Yorobo, Kpankaka, Côte d’Ivoire
*Best Male Artist from West Africa: Dj Arafat Yorobo, Kpankaka, Côte d’Ivoire
*Best African Group: Magic System, La Danse Des Magiciens, Côte d’Ivoire
*Best Female Artist from West Africa: Chidinma, Kedike, Nigeria
*Best Male Artist from East Africa: Kidumu feat. Sana Mulika, Mwizi, Burundi
*Best Female Artist from East Africa: Juliana Kanyomozi, I Am Ugandan, Uganda
*Best Male Artist from Central Africa: Lord Ekomy Ndong, Bi Se Fe Nale, Gabon
*Best Female Artist from Central Africa: Mounira Mitchala, Independance, Tchad
*Best Male Artist from Southern Africa: The Dogg Deception, Namibia
*Best Female Artist from Southern Africa: Zahara Loliwe, South Africa
*Best Male Artist from North Africa: Cheb Khaled, C’est La Vie, Algeria
*Best Female Artist from North Africa: Hasna El Becharia Djazair, Johara, Algeria
*Best Male Artist in the Diaspora (US): Chris Brown feat. Lil’Wayne & Busta Rhymes, Look At Me Now, US
*Best Female Artist in the Diaspora (US): Rihanna, We Found Love, US
*Best Male Artist in the Diaspora Europe & the Carribean: Sexion d’Assaut, Avant Qu’elle Parte, France
*Best Female Artist in the Diaspora Europe & the Carribean: Sega, El Jaloux, France
*Best Male Gospel Artist: Yvan, Ton Amour Me Suffit, Benin
*Best Female Gospel Artist: Lydia Nseya, Bolamu, DRC
*Best Religious Group: Seraphim Song’s, Impundu, Burundi
*Best Male Traditional Artist: Stanlux, Africavio, Togo
*Best Female Traditional Artist: Aida Samb, Sarabaa, Senegal
*Best Traditional Group: Les Frères Guedehoungue, Feu De Brousse, Benin
*Most Promising Male of the African Continent: Davido Dami, Duro, Nigeria
*Most Promising Female of the African Continent: Sessimé, Mayavio, Benin
*Best Video Director of Africa: Gelongal Kumu Neexul de Viviane Ndour, Senegal
*Photo Aida Samb Archives.