The Black Stars are in the hunt for the award By Christian Okpara
Finally the long awaited revelation day is here. Today in Nigeria’s capital city, Abuja, everybody that is somebody in world football will converge at the luxurious International Conference Centre to celebrate the best of African soccer.
A new King of African football will be crowned tonight in a ceremony to be laced with music, dance and wine, as well as the divergent cultures of the peoples of the continent.
Billed as a ceremony where Africa will honour its illustrious sons and daughters who have distinguished themselves across the world, playing or administering football in the last one year, the event sponsored by communications outfit, Globacom, will also afford icons of the game, journalists and other stakeholders the opportunity to examine how the game fared in 2015.
The event will be supervised by the acting President of world football governing body, FIFA, Issa Hayatou, who is also the president of Confederation of African Football (CAF).
According to the organisers, over 100 press men from across the globe are covering this edition of the GLO-CAF Awards, which offers honours to the ciontinent’s best players in different categories.
About two weeks ago, CAF pruned down the final list of African Player of the Year nominees to three, which include Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of Gabon and Borrussia Dortmund of Germany, four-time African Player of the Year, Yaya Toure of Cote d’Ivoire and Manchester City, and Andrew Ayew of Ghana and Swansea City FC.
Mbwana Aly Samatta of Tanzania and TP Mazembe, Baghdad Bounedjah of Algeria and Etoile du Sahel and Robert Kidiaba of Democratic Republic of Congo and TP Mazembe are the top three nominees in the Africa-based ‘Player of the Year’ Award.
The organisers yesterday disclosed that the list was prepared “through a vigorous selection process by the Technical, Football and Media Committees of CAF, taking into account the performance of the players for their national teams as well as clubs from January to November of each year.”
Among the top acts expected to entertain guests and VIPs at the event are singing sensation, Salif Keita, an afro-pop singer cum songwriter from Mali, who is rated highly because of his reputation as the “Golden Voice of Africa,” Ladysmith Black Mambazo, a South African male choral group that sings in the vocal styles of isicathamiya and mbube, Awilo Longomba, a Congolese musician, who was a drummer in Viva la Musica, Stukas, Nouvelle Generation, Charles Nii Armah Mensah Jnr., popularly known by his stage name Shatta Wale, a Ghanaian born producer and reggae-dancehall musician.
Also in the groove are Ahmed Soultan, a Moroccan singer artist, considered as one of the leaders of the “Nayda” (new urban Moroccan scene) and Sammie Leigh Bush Jr., known professionally by the mononym Sammie, an American R&B singer best known for his hit, “I Like It”.
Also lined up for the show are some of the biggest stars in Nigeria . They include the wave-making hip-hop super star, Dapo Oyebanji, a multi-talented and award Nigerian songwriter and performer, Mavin records’ prince and princess, Korede Bello and Hadiza Blell popularly known as Di’ja, alternative soul singer, Bez Idakula, one of Nigeria’s most prominent female singers, Omawumi, Ego ‘sweet voice’ Ogbaro and master guitarist and legendary King of Juju Music, Sunny Ade.