AFCON: Afrobeat ‘killed Amapiano’, tweeps flood X as Nigeria beats S’Africa

Nigeria and South Africa clashed in the semi-final of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations on Wednesday, February 7, 2024, in a match that was more than just a football game.

The two countries have a long-standing rivalry that extends to various aspects of their culture, economy, and politics. One of the most recent sources of contention was the music scene, where the Nigerian genre of Afrobeats and the South African genre of Amapiano competed for dominance and recognition.

Afrobeats is a fusion of West African music styles, such as highlife, fuji, and Afrobeat, pioneered by the legendary Fela Anikulapo Kuti. It is characterized by its upbeat rhythms, catchy melodies, and Afrocentric lyrics, often sung in local languages.

Some of the most popular Afrobeats artists include Burna Boy, Davido, Wizkid, Tiwa Savage, and Rema.

Amapiano is a subgenre of South African house music that emerged in the 2010s. It is characterized by its use of piano melodies, deep basslines, and a relaxed, laid-back vibe. It is a blend of deep house, jazz, and lounge music, with influences from Kwaito, Bacardi, and Tribal house.

Some of the most popular Amapiano artists include Kabza de Small, DJ Maphorisa, Focalistic, Tyla, and Young Stunna.

The musical rivalry between the two countries was intensified after the recent-concluded 66th Grammy Awards, which saw South African singer Tyla beat Nigerian stars Burna Boy, Davido, Asake, and Tems to win the Best African Music Performance award.

This sparked a lot of debate and banter on social media, with the South Africans claiming bragging rights and the Nigerians seeking vengeance.

The AFCON semi-final match was seen as an opportunity to settle the score between the two countries, not only on the football pitch, but also on the musical front.

Thousands of Nigerian, South African and Ivorian fans, amongst others were in the stands at the Stade de la Paix in Bouake, Ivory Coast, including the Vice President of Nigeria, Kashim Shettima, who came with flags, jerseys, and speakers, playing their favorite tunes to cheer their teams.

Nigeria took the lead in the second half when Captain Troost-Ekong scored a penalty but South Africa equalized just before the final whistle with a penalty also forcing the game into extra time and then penalties.

After an exhilarating penalty shoot out, the Super Eagles emerged (4-2), sealing the most-coveted ticket to the final.

They will play against either the host nation, Cote d’Ivoire or Democratic Republic of Congo on Sunday, February 11.

The match was a showcase of the best of African football and music, as Nigeria and South Africa demonstrated their talent, diversity, and unity. While Afrobeats may have beaten Amapiano on the day, both genres are winners in the eyes and ears of many Africans and beyond.

Following the win by Nigeria, banters have begun flying, and below are some of the reactions online:

Insisting on Nigeria’s dominance in the music industry over South@iamaleshinloye wrote, “The battle is done .

“We won the Amapiano battle


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