The KORA All Africa Music Awards are music awards given annually for musical achievement in sub-Saharan Africa. Founded in 1994 by Ernest Adjovi, they are comparable to the American ‘Grammy Awards’ in intent. The award is named after the kora, an important West African plucked chordophone.
Since its inception, the KORA Awards has been staged twelve times on the African Continent. For the first ten years, the ceremony has taken place in South Africa. It has since moved to Burkina Faso and Côte d’Ivoire. In 2015 the awards reached a permanent agreement to host the awards in Namibia.
Zimbabweans, as being a part of Africa, have been recognised not only by being nominated for various awards but also by being voted as winners.
Below are the full list of those that have been recognised for their achievements in music on the continent and received nominations:
1997: Tendai Mupfurutsa
Prince Tendai as Mupfurutsa was known as, was the first Zimbabwean to be nominated for a Kora award. He was nominated for ‘Best African Song of the Year’ for his hit song ‘Character’. Prince Tendai’s full profile can be found here.
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1999: Chiwoniso Mariare
The late Chiwoniso Mariare was given recognition mid-way through her career for the contributions that she had made to African music at the time. She was nominated for ‘Best Female Vocals of Africa’ but did not manage to win losing out to Angélique Kidjo from Benin instead. You can check out her full profile here.
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2002: Oliver Mtukudzi – winner
Oliver Mtukudzi is arguably Zimbabwe’s greatest musician by definition of performances in the Kora Awards. ‘Tuku’ was voted and won the category of ‘Best Arrangement’ for his song Ndakuwara. You can check out his full profile here.
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2003: Oliver Mtukudzi – winner
The following her is was back at the awards, this time picking up another two awards for ‘Best Artist – Southern Africa – Male’ for his song Hear Me Lord and he was also accorded a ‘Life Time Achievement Award’ at the same event.
2005: Tanga Wekwa Sando
2005: Bonnie Deuschle & Celebration Choir
Bonnie Deuschle and the Celebration choir of the ‘Tambira’ fame were nominated in 2005 for the ‘Best Spiritual Group In Africa’ for their contributions to furthering the gospel through music.
Image Credit: Bonnie Deuschle & Celebration Choir
2008: Oliver Mtukudzi
There is record of this event having taken place, but the official website does not record any set of winners. Tuku was nominated for ‘Best Arrangement’ for his song ‘Chikara‘ as well as ‘Best Artist or Group – Southern Africa’.
2008: Jusa Dementor
Jusa Dementor is an award winning Zimbabwean born music producer and musician based in the United Kingdom. He has worked with prominent local and international artists such Red Rat, Beenie Man, Tuface, Winky D, Vybz Kartel, Lady Saw just to mention a few. He was nominated for ‘Best Ragga Artist or Group’. See full profile here.
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2016: Pah Chihera
The ‘Runonzi Rudo‘ singer is who performs a fusion of tropical and afro-contemporary rich with a Zimbabwean traditional feel has been nominated as the ‘Best Female Artiste Southern Africa’. See her full profile her.
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2016: Hope Masike
Known for being an Afro-fusion singer, mbira player, percussionist, song writer, fashion designer and a painter and popularly known as ‘The Princess of Mbira’, Masike is a graduate from the Zimbabwe College of Music (ZCM). She has been nominated as the ‘Best Traditional Female Artist in Africa’. See full profile here.
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