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D’Banj & Maria Borges to host star-studded inaugural Trace Awards in Rwanda

The Trace Awards will be a celebration of African & Afro-inspired music and culture, set to take place on October 21, 2023.

From Left: Angolan supermodel and fashion icon Maria Borges and Nigerian music legend D’Banj

Nigerian music legend, entrepreneur, and philanthropist D’Banj, and Angolan supermodel and fashion icon Maria Borges have been announced as the hosts of the first-ever Trace Awards in Rwanda.

The Trace Awards will be a celebration of African and Afro-inspired music and culture, set to take place at the BK Arena in Kigali on October 21, 2023.

D’Banj is a pioneer in the African music industry, known for his groundbreaking contributions and a career spanning over two decades.


He first emerged on the scene in the early 2000s, offering a unique blend of Afrobeat, Afro-pop, and contemporary genres.

His chart-topping hits, such as 'Oliver Twist,' 'Fall in Love,' 'Scapegoat,' and 'Mr. Endowed,' quickly garnered international attention.

'Oliver Twist' even reached the top ten on the UK Singles Chart, peaking at Number Two.

One of the significant milestones in D’Banj's career was his signing to Kanye West's G.O.O.D Music record label in June 2011.


This marked a turning point for not only D’Banj but also for African artists, as he became the first African artist to achieve a global top-ten hit.

His contributions have paved the way for African artists to gain recognition on the international stage.

Apart from his music career, D’Banj has been recognised for his philanthropic efforts, particularly through his Koko Foundation.


He is committed to empowering African youth and fostering their development. Additionally, his Cream Platform is an innovative talent discovery and support system aimed at showcasing and promoting emerging African artists.

This initiative provides aspiring talents with opportunities for exposure, mentorship, and collaboration with established industry professionals.

Maria Borges, the stunning Angolan supermodel, is no stranger to breaking barriers. She made her debut in the fashion world in 2010 when she signed with the prestigious agency Supreme Management.


Her journey led her to walk the runways for renowned fashion designers and brands worldwide, from Balmain to Dior, and from H&M to L'Oréal.

However, it was her appearance on the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show runway in 2013 that catapulted her into international stardom.

In 2017, she made history by becoming the first African woman to wear natural short hair on the cover of Elle magazine in the USA, promoting diversity and natural beauty in the fashion world.


The Trace Awards promises a star-studded lineup of over 60 performers and nominees from various corners of the African music scene.

Notable names include Davido (Nigeria), Nomcebo (South Africa), Yemi Alade (Nigeria), Mr. Eazi (Nigeria), and many more.

Kenyan artists Nadia Mukami and Janet Otieno have been nominated for the Best Female Artist and Best Gospel Artist categories respectively.


The latest additions to this musical extravaganza include Artmasta (Tunisia), Ko-c (Cameroon), Odumodublvck (Nigeria), Pheelz (Nigeria), and Roselyne Layo (Ivory Coast).

The awards will be broadcast live on October 21, 2023, on various platforms, including Trace TV, radio, digital channels, YouTube, national terrestrial TV, and satellite channels.


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