Nigeria Vs South Africa: How Afrobeats Reigned over Amapiano at AFCON 2023

BY Nii Ogbamey Tetteh February 8, 2024 10:28 PM EDT
Yemi Alade and Tyla
Source: Instagram.com/@tyla @Yemi Alade

The 2023 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) is ending this weekend with lots of excitement. The final between Nigeria and Cote d’Ivoire is scheduled for Sunday, February 11, 2023.

However, the semi-final encounter between Nigeria and South Africa on Wednesday, February 7, 2024, was more than a football match. For the fans of both nations, it was a competition between everything Nigerian and anything from South Africa.

Fans, especially on social media, jokingly said the outcome of the match would end the long debate about which of the beautiful cultures from Nigeria or South Africa was the best.

Beyond the football match, they compared everything, ranging from food to musical artistes, and music genres. Nigeria stood for Afrobeats, while South Africa was for Amapiano.

At the end of the day, Nigeria won the match on penalties, and that was how the Nigerian Afrobeats reigned over Amapiano. Some fans even believed it was ‘a revenge’ for Nigeria since their artistes lost the 66th Grammy Awards to South Africa’s Tyla.

Nonetheless, it was all a demonstration of the harmony between African countries. Aside from the distinct cultures of both nations, the Afrobeats and Amapiono have proven their global dominance and continue to unite the continent on all fronts.

Afrobeats and Amapiono genres took centre stage at the tournament, as music from across the continent was played at the start of competitions, at halftime, and at the end of a match day.

The opening of the 2023 AFCON saw a colourful display from many African acts, including Nigerian songstress Yemi Alade, who delivered a heartwarming performance before kick-off.

She mounted the stage in a radiant African costume and tapped into her usual energy to entertain the crowd with cheerful renditions, which won the admiration of many fans.

Her stagecraft was engaging, making for a memorable evening at the Alassane Ouattara Stadium in Abidjan, during the opening match on Saturday, January 13, 2024.