While Tiwa Savage claimed the accolade of first solo female winner for the African Act category, the 26-year-old Miss Ojeifo alongside four others jointly won the first-ever “MTV EMA Generation Change Award.”
Tiwa Savage was nominated alongside other talented African musicians including Davido (Nigeria), Distruction Boyz (South Africa), Fally Ipupa (DRC), Nyashinski (Kenya) and Shekhinah (South Africa) – who also graced the event and were sighted on the red carpet in Bilbao.
Receiving the award, Tiwa Savage said: “I’m just a girl from Nigeria living my dreams. I’m so thankful to everyone that’s supported my journey so far, especially my fans. Thank you MTV!”
Nigerian Miss Ojeifo – a bold change maker who founded a movement of love, hope and support to give mental health a voice in her home country, Nigeria – was also announced a co-winner of the “MTV EMA Generation Change Award” given to five change makers from around the globe, all under the age of 26.
The award category was founded to elevate and empower the fearless, original young people who are changing the world.
She jointly won together with four nominees including Xiuhtezcatl “X” Martinez (USA), Ellen Jones (UK), Mohamad Aljounde (Lebanon) and Sonita Alizadeh (Afghanistan).
The winners were among a generation of young people who are tackling the world’s toughest problems – including fighting for environmental protection, refugee rights, ending child marriage, mental health support and LGBTQ+ equality – through music, storytelling and digital media.
READ ALSO: Complete List of Winners at 2018 MTV EMA
Commenting on the feats, the Executive Vice President and Managing Director for Viacom International Media Networks Africa and BET International, Alex Okosi, said “The MTV EMAs are always a proud moment for the continent. The Africa Act category is indicative of our commitment to elevate and showcase Africa’s collective talent and potential on a global scale.
“We are so proud of Tiwa. She is truly deserving of this award which is an affirmation of how consistent commitment and hard work leads to success. I also want to congratulate all the African nominees who continue to inspire and uplift our continent.
“We are equally honoured to announce Hauwa Ojeifo as joint MTV EMA Generation Change Award winner. She is a testament to the powerful contribution of our youth for impactful change.”
The event which saw more women cart away several awards had the Cuban-American singer, Camilla Cabello, led with a quartet of awards including “Best Artist”, “Best Song”, “Best US Act” and “Best Video” as Nicki Minaj went home with two, namely “Best Look” and “Best Hip Hop” awards.
READ ALSO: Camilla Cabello wins big at 2018 MTV EMA
Nicki Minaj lit the arena with her new song “Good Form” while performing on stage as she was later joined by Little Mix and the duo had a thrilling performance of their collaborative song: “Woman Like Me.”
MTV’s Global Icon award recipient, Janet Jackson, also delivered a blazing performance of hits over her legendary 40-year career.
The stunning performance spanned four stages and included African drummers, flame torches, fire breathers, more than 20 dancers and an elevated stage surrounded by flames.
Other highlights of the event include Hailee Steinfeld officially kicking off the show with an EMA award art heist, followed by Panic! At The Disco’s Brendon Urie scaling Bilbao Exhibition Centre’s exterior before crashing through the ceiling to perform “High Hopes.”
Modern Flamenco-inspired sensation and Spain native Rosalía, one of the most buzzed-about acts of the night, rolled on stage in a gigantic truck before rocking the entire house with “Malamente” alongside 24 dancers.
Throughout the night, Steinfeld commanded the stage with her captivating hosting skills, and for her performance, she gave a nod to her upcoming film “Bumblebee” by performing soundtrack number “Back to Life” from inside a yellow human vehicle, artistically created with more than 20 bodies.
Jason Derulo sang an operatic rendition of Andrea Bocelli’s “Time to Say Goodbye” before flowing into his collaboration track “Goodbye” with David Guetta and Nicki Minaj, both of whom joined him on stage.
Similarly, Alessia Cara gave a colourful performance for “Trust Me Lonely” against a backdrop of different settings.
To wrap up the show, Marshmello kept the energy booming alongside Anne-Marie for their platinum-certified track “FRIENDS,” followed by Bastille for “Happier.” Five giant inflatable Marshmello heads and hundreds of smaller Marshmello balls took over the venue at the grand finale.
MTV however recognized artists from around the globe with Worldwide Act awards and Best Local Act awards for multiple regions including Germany, Spain, Japan and Africa.