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Maria Borges and D’Banj to host inaugural Trace Awards

By Hilary Kimuyu October 11th, 2023 2 min read

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

The event is presented by Visit Rwanda and Martell, the Trace Awards will take place at the BK Arena, Kigali, Rwanda on October 21, 2023.

D’Banj and Maria Borges will preside over a lineup of more than 60 performers and nominees at the Trace Awards.

Also read: All about Trace Awards and Festival

The latest additions to the lineup include Nadia Mukami (Kenya), Khaligraph (Kenya), Artmasta (Tunisia), Ko-c (Cameroon), Odumodublvck (Nigeria), Pheelz (Nigeria) and Roselyne Layo (Ivory Coast).

Also gracing the Awards and to appear at the Trace Festival are Benjamin Dube (South Africa), BNXN (Nigeria), DJ Illans (Reunion), Josey (Ivory Coast), Juls (Ghana), Moses Bliss (Nigeria) and Show dem Camp (Nigeria).

D’Banj mesmerising stage presence, magnetic charisma, and captivating live performances quickly endeared him to fans both in Africa and across the world, helped by an extensive repertoire of chart-topping hits such as Oliver Twist, Fall in Love, Scapegoat, and Mr. Endowed.

“It’s a great honour to co-host the first Trace Awards in Africa and lead this amazing celebration of African and Afro-origin music for music fans around the world,” D’Banj said.

“I can’t wait to get to Rwanda and connect with all the incredible artists nominated and performing at the Trace Awards.”

Also read: Ababu lauds Nadia Mukami and Janet Otieno for Trace Awards nominations

Angolan supermodel and catwalk star, Maria Borges first burst onto the fashion scene in 2010 when she signed with prestigious agency Supreme Management.

Soon she was walking the runways for the world’s fashion elite including fashion designers from Balmain to Banana Republic, Diane von Fürstenberg to Dior, and from Emporio Armani to Erdem.

Her appearance on the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show runway in 2013 catapulted her into international stardom and she has subsequently appeared in campaigns for Givenchy, Tommy Hilfiger, H&M, Bobbi Brown, C&A, L’Oréal, Mac Cosmetics, and Forever 21.

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

“I am deeply humbled and incredibly excited to host the inaugural Trace Awards. Doing this in Rwanda, this beautiful nation, with its rich history and resilient spirit, will make this occasion all the more special for me. Celebrating the best Afro-centric musical achievements in Rwanda, with D’Banj, and surrounded by such incredible warmth and culture, is truly an honour I will cherish,” she said.

Targeted at lovers of African and Afro-inspired music and culture, the Trace Awards will broadcast live on October 21, 2023 on Trace TV, radio and digital channels and on global streaming platforms (YouTube), national terrestrial TV and satellite channels. The viewership and social interaction is expected to exceed 500 million fans in 190 countries.

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