Tiwa Savage becomes the first female ‘Best African Act’ at the 2018 MTV European Music Awards

Over the weekend, Nigerian singer, Tiwa Savage, emerged the 2018 Best African Act at the MTV European Music Awards. The singer who was at the venue of the event in Bilbao, Spain on Sunday, 4 November, with several music stars across the world in attendance, won the award after usurping fellow Nigerian act, David Adeleke, aka Davido; South Africa’s Distruction Boyz and Shekinah; Kenya’s Nyashinski and Fally Ipupa from the DRC.

The African act category was introduced into the MTV EMA in 2005 to enhance musical alliances across borders, and promote cultural integrations. Previous winners include Nigeria’s 2Baba in 2005, D’banj in 2007 and 2012; and Davido in 2017. 

2018 has been a great year for the Tiwa Savage, who has seen a number of her songs and collaboration top the charts and also enjoyed a sold out concert at her first headline show at the Indigo at the O2 arena, UK earlier in September.

Celebrating the award, the artist took to her Instagram page to dedicate the win to African women and aspiring young girls. “Thank you. To my amazing team, this is just the beginning. African women, this is for us.”


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26-year-old Nigerian, Hauwa Ojeifo, creator of a walk-in and mental health crisis helpline and an anonymous women-only mental health support group, called Safe Place, also won in the first edition of MTV EMA Generation Change Award category presented during the award’s red carpet pre-show. The award which aims to elevate and empower the fearless, original young people who are changing the world saw Ojeifo selected alongside a 21-year old Afghanistan, Sonita Alizadeh; 17 year old Lebanese, Mohamad Aljounde; 20 year old Briton, Ellen Jones and an 18 year old Xiuhtezcatl “X” Martinez.

The biggest winner at the awards night was the Cuban-American singer Camila Cabello who won in four categories. The 21-year-old took home the awards for Best Artist, Best US Act, Best Song and Best Video (both for Havana). The MTV EMA was broadcast live in 81 countries around the world.