Page last updated at 10:32 GMT, Sunday, 23 November 2008

Nigerians sweep MTV Africa awards

By Tomi Oladipo

Wahu was emotional as she collected her prize for best female

Nigerian artists dominated the MTV Africa Music Awards (the Mamas) on their own turf in the capital city Abuja, scooping six of the 10 awards.

D'banj won both the artist of the year award and the best male award, crowning a successful year for the self-proclaimed "entertainer".

Fellow Nigerian rapper Naeto C won best new act, while 9ice won the best Hip-hop award.

Kenyan singer Wahu, who was overcome with emotion, was named best female.

She tearfully dedicated the award to her husband, fellow musician Nameless, and to her daughter who, she said, "is too young to understand how much she inspires me".

BBC 1Xtra's Trevor Nelson hosted the show in front of a crowd of 5,000 fans in the stylishly shaped Abuja Velodrome.

The Game
The Game performed at the ceremony

Nigerian duo P-Square, who had five nominations, only managed to take home one prize for best group.

Despite not winning, the disappointed twin brothers thrilled the crowd with their stage act.

South Africa hip-hoppers Jozi won the award for the best live performers.

However, Ghanaian artist Samini revealed he was not happy the live award had gone to a "group that plays CDs and mimes".

He added: "If you say 'live' then the music has to be with a band.

"I'm not picking names but I think that the best live performer should go to a live band artist.

"I'm sorry if I'm being harsh here but I'm trying to be straightforward. If I watch you on TV and I see you with a live band, then you better do it on stage for me."

There was a cameo appearance by US rapper The Game, who gave a brief medley of his hit songs.

There were also performances by the rapper's compatriots Flo-rida, and Kelly Rowland.

Other live acts included Seun Kuti, 9ice, as well as HHP from South Africa, but it was the assortment collaborations that stole the show.

HHP came back on stage to join Nigerian singing sensation Asa on her song Jailer, and Rowland performed alongside D'banj.

But the biggest fusion was that of South African rockers Cassette, Kenyan rapper Jua Cali, and Ikechukwu and Naeto C.

American R&B singer Alicia Keys gave a video acceptance speech for winning the best R&B award, as did South African band Seether, who won the best alternative award.

Mama Africa

The legend gong went to the late Fela Kuti, the Nigerian pioneer of Afrobeat. The award was received by the star's children, Yemi and Seun.

Kelly Rowland D'banj
Kelly and Nigerian artist D'banj performed together

Speaking of Kuti, Nelson said: "He was the first man I ever heard, all the way from the UK, when I heard African music for the first time it came from this man.

"There could only be one person, only one recipient."

Kuti's children joked in their acceptance speech that they would "not take this award to him yet".

"We'll keep it in our house, and when the times comes then we'll take it to him."

Out of the 11 awards given out on the night the legend award was the only one that was not chosen by the fans.

Winners were selected by fans sending text messages.

There was also a tribute to "Mama Africa" Miriam Makeba, the South African singer who died just over a week ago.

Winners each received a Golden Microphone trophy, which has a futuristic microphone emerging from a globe of the world, with the African continent symbolically placed at the top of the world.

Even though this was an African event there were some non-African artists nominated in different categories, including Lil Wayne, The Game, Coldplay, and Keys.

African music videos were also recognized, with Nigeria's Ikechuku winning the award for the best video for his song Wind am well.

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