AFRONOIRE attends Africa Unplugged 2014


Perhaps it's time to pull the plug on Africa Unplugged... It's always good to support groundbreaking events which are set to make a difference. So when Africa Unplugged returned for another year running, AFRONOIRE went along to see what was in store.

Hosted by DJ Abass, the event was headlined by just a few of the biggest artists in Africa. The line up included South Africa's Diamond Platnumz, Nigeria's finest female singer Tiwa Savage and a highly anticipated performance by one of Nigeria's leading male solo artists, Davido. All in aid of promoting ONE AFRICA: UNITED. This year's event aimed to raise awareness with a campaign that focused on Africa’s struggle against child trafficking and child abuse. Africa Unplugged aimed to bring together some of Africa's amazing talent, all under one roof.

On arrival at Brixton's O2 Academy, it was clear that there was a highly anticipated show on offer. Queues of press, promoters and guests swamped the building. Day turned to night as we waited (...and waited) to see the talent promised to grace the stage.

Finally, we entered the venue in time for some on-stage banter with Capital Xtra's DJ Abrantee and Sporah from OHTV's Sporah Show. As an 'Azonto Cam' filmed the audience, revellers were kept 'entertained' with amateur performers and some of the best Afrobeats songs of the summer.

It's difficult to give a detailed opinion about the show itself as much to my disappointment queuing for tickets was the main event. But I was pleased to see Diamond a talent who really knows how to perform, with professional dancers and recognised quality African music. Next from the line-up was Nigerian beauty Tiwa Savage who gave an impressive vocal performance, complete with a sparkly tux jacket and flowing tresses. Minus some of the stage and performance hiccups and judged by the audience's reaction, the 'Kele Kele' singer showed the audience exactly what they came to see in a performance, accompanied by the UK's own CEO dancers (Britain's Got Talent).

Davido, the headlining act of the event though salvaged the reputation of the concert by giving an energetic and uninterrupted performance  with hits like 'Gobe' and 'Aye'. His dramatic yet impressive appearance on stage was a precursor to the ambience he created which saw every member of the audience on their feet from the beginning to the end of his set, uninhibitedly shaking some legs and hips.

Overall my experience at Africa Unplugged was disrupted by delays and lack of orientation. However with a program including a great line-up it's hard not to dance the night away. I do hope that events like this continue to prosper, unite Africa and break boundaries because it really should deserve more than a few stars.

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