It is not news that last year Nigerian superstar – Mr. Eazi – launched emPawa, a music initiative which in their own words is a platform “to provide undiscovered, independent African musical talent the unique opportunity to make it BIG.” They intend to do this by getting artists across the continent to upload a 30-second video on Instagram using #emPawa100 where (you guessed it!) one hundred of the submissions will be awarded $3000 to record their own music video. Out of these one hundred, ten were hand-picked by the “Leg Over” hitmaker to attend a masterclass in South Africa with himself, Raye and Diplo. Here they will be given the chance to record a song in a state of the art studio and shoot a professional music video. Still with us? Because there is more, out of the final 10 Mr. Eazi will then select two artists to perform beside him in front of a crowd of 8000 in London later this year.
It is a lot to get through, we know. But we are glad you made it! Now let’s get down to the real nitty-gritty. The opportunity to perform alongside the force that is Mr. Eazi is unmatched – when it comes to initiatives/competitions like this both previous and present. This is simply because of the exposure of having to look in 8000 eyeballs is not something that many sponsors of similar programs are willing to risk but in this situation the fact that Mr. Eazi is taking the time to train them personally makes us feel that he will be confident in their abilities to show up and perform.
The other thing that needs mentioning is the fact that the whole program is being funded by BetPawa – which you guessed it, is a betting platform. The country (Kenya specifically) has been plagued by the betting curse which has affected many of our youth who have gotten lost in the dark and evil world that can be gaming. The same youth that Mr. Eazi and his #empawa100 aim to speak to with this initiative. It is difficult to embrace the program wholeheartedly with this hanging over it.
We will wait and see who the winner of the whole thing will be. Either way, we are sure that this will help African music grow globally.