The much-anticipated 2023 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) opened on Saturday with colourful Nigerian songstress Yemi Alade delivering a heartwarming performance ahead of the kick-off.
Appearing on stage in a radiant African costume, she tapped into her usual energy to entertain the crowd with cheerful renditions, which won the admiration of many fans.
Reigning under the self-acclaimed title “Mama Africa”, Yemi Alade performed some of her top compositions as well as the theme song for the 2023 AFCON, Akwaba, (meaning welcome), and shared excerpts of the show on her social media handles.
Many of her followers rated her highly, but the singer was quick to respond to some foul comments and other comparisons between her and fellow music icon Tiwa Savage.
A fan said he was “better than” Tiwa Savage but the Johnny hitmaker downplayed the suggestion, saying they were both winning together.
“Comparison is the thief of joy. We’re both winning….celebrate and support us all,” she wrote in response on her X (Twitter) handle.
Replying to another follower who said she was not good on stage, she said, “Thank you, hater,” adding that [haters] are the reason she keeps working hard.
Yemi Alade will be one of the top African acts expected to grace the All Africa Festival in the UAE capital, Abu Dhabi, from February 2 to February 2024.
In December 2023, she unveiled an Amapiano-inspired album, MamaPiano, with some exciting African sounds.
The post-AFCON comments notwithstanding, her stagecraft was engaging. She had a memorable evening at the Alassane Ouattara Stadium in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, with the host nation winning 2-0 over Guinea-Bissau in the opening match.