Cape Verdean singer Elida Almeida has been named winner of the prestigious RFI Prix Découvertes (Discoveries Award) music contest for 2015. The news was announced this week by Radio France Internationale (RFI).
Born in Santa Cruz on the island of Santiago, Elida Almeida won the prize after a deliberation of a little more than an hour of the jury chaired by the Malian artist Oumou Sangaré, who announced his preference for the young Cape Verdean singer, who at age 22 has a bright future ahead of her. She was nominated for the songs ‘Nta konsigui’ and ‘Lebam ku bo’ from her debut album Ora doce, ora margós. As the contest's winner she receives 10 000 euros and tours of Africa and France to promote her work.
The jury named Burkinabe Joey le Soldat and Senegal's Mao Sidibé second and third respectively. The final round of the competition was also contested by nominees Asden and Liz (DR Congo), Banlieuzart (Guinea), Darline Desca (Haiti), Dioba (Mauritania), Elinam (Togo), Kantala (Burkina Faso), Mélodji (Chad), Mija (Madagascar), Sanzy Viani (Cameroon) and Woodsound (Benin).
Almeida was recently in Rabat, Morocco to showcase her talent at the Visa For Music market. Her performances at the Mohammed V National Theatre on 12 November drew enthusiastic support from the audience, many of whom were dancing in the aisles waving the Cape Verdean flag.
Held annually since 1981, the RFI Discoveries Award reward the very best in ‘world music’. Past winners include Marema from Senegal (2014), Burkina Faso’s Smarty (2013), Namibia’s Elemotho (2012), Guinea’s Sia Tolno (2011) Senegalese rapper Didier Awadi (2003) and Ivorian reggae man Tiken Jah Fakoly (2000).