Africa’s top video directors deliver befitting videos and stunning creative direction, once again this year. First highlighting the unknown first-timers who delivered Sauti Sol’s most unlikely hit video, kindly re-watch as I break it down:

  1. Kuliko Jana – Sauti Sol & Redfourth Chorus (Directors: Timothy Mwaura & Joash Omondi of FullfilmENT Company)

This is the most unique music video dropped by a top African pop artiste this year. In the black and white video, set exactly ten years after high school, Sauti Sol re-record the original Kuliko Jana with Redfourth Chorus (student choir at their former high school – Upper Hill) to create a beautiful a cappella song, displaying the originality of Sauti’s harmonious and melodic background. It was the magic of the serendipitous reunion fused with first-time video directors Tim and Joash that produced another classic from Africa’s Best Group. The directors do an excellent job in creating minimalistic transitions and lighting effects that let the song’s message and simplicity reign supreme.

2. Daddy Yo – Wizkid (Director: Starboy Entertainment)

It’s been exactly a year since Wizkid dropped his last official music video – Final (Baba Nla). A million YouTube views in one week – Daddy Yo is another Wizkid hit featuring Starboy signee Ghanaian singer Efya who holds it down on the hook. Producer Mutay (Legendury Beatz) samples that raggatone vibe of Gasolina in the song reminding us why old is gold. The video’s choice of dancers and choreography is 100% straight fire. I read some comments on YouTube questioning Wizkid’s lyrics – c’mon guys we all know what this song is made for – dance – period!

3. Kom Kom – Yemi Alade x Flavour (Director: Clarence Peters)

I have always loved Yemi Alade’s eclectic expression and how it pans out in music videos. Last year, I added her Paul Gambit produced Sugar in my list of Top 10 Videos of 2016. From the colourful set props to the white and gold themed scenes – Clarence Peters delivers a visual delicacy. I also loved Yemi and Flavour’s traditional attire in the video, too cute!

4. If I start to talk – Tiwa Savage x Dr Sid. (Director: Clarence Peters)

If I Start to Talk video shot by Clarence Peters gives the already full of life song new life. The song tackles life’s everyday ironic twists or misfortunes, declaring that at times only true blessings can trump the world’s evil – a situation the video cleverly portrays in a deep artistic way. Watch again – the men in masks, the nude couple lying on the floor next to empty bottles or the paradoxical two-way image of a sad street lady who seems happier dressed like a rich woman. What could these situations insinuate? Try watch this video without audio – it’s just perfect. Definitely my very best of 2016! Congrats Tiwa! Always winning!

 5. Kontrol – Maleek Berry (Director: JM Films)

Kontrol is just a cool and simple video thanks to its eclectic and radiant creative direction. I love its colours, the strawberries, pineapples, swimsuits and hot babes!  I think JM Films capture Maleek Berry’s cool quite collectively because it radiates out. As we finally put a face to Maleekberry’s name and beats, it’s fun to watch him take control of his image in the video, where he also shows off some cool dance moves.

 6. Niroge – Vanessa Mdee (Director: Justin Campos)

Justin Campos literally makes a movie in the video of Niroge starring Vee Money. The Tanzanian diva isn’t celebrated as an African style icon for no reason and I am glad that this video is a true testament to her reputation. The style direction and dance choreography in the Nahreel – produced song makes Niroge’s video one of Vanessa’s very best if not Africa’s top of the pops.

7. Soldier – Falz & Simi (Director: Clarence Peters)

We don’t hear songs on the love lives of soldiers everyday. Nobody sings about the hustle of dating a soldier or policeman but Falz does. The short musical film featuring Simi shot by Clarence Peters is brilliant! I applaud Falz’s 14-minute effort that sets the pace for African artistes. I am sure others might have done this before but very few have been on point while maintaining the delicate balance between a song’s message versus the authenticity and originality of the artiste.

Earlier this year, I posted Falz – Soldier Full Length Movie feat. Simi (Music Review)

8. Oya Come Make We Go – 2Baba x Sauti Sol (Director: Unlimited L.A.)

If you ask 2baba and Sauti Sol individually what they think of each other they will gloat over how much they are fans of one another. The fan-of-a-fan collaboration brings out good chemistry between 2Baba and Sauti Sol presenting an inspiring joint debut. Congrats to Tom Olango who wrote the script for the storyline of the video directed by Unlimited L.A.

9. Kabulengane – Bebe Cool (Director: Hanex Touch)

Bebe Cool has always been authentic and Kabulengane is a perfect Ugandan song to show that. From the waist whining of the colourful pop dancers, to the traditional waist-shakers, director Hanex does justice to one of Bebe’s best recent releases!

10. Feel Good – Navy Kenzo (Director: Justin Campos)

What a great year Tanzanian duo Aika and Nahreel just had? Just a month before releasing their debut album Above in a Minute (AIM), Justin Campos delivers another Navy Kenzo pop video. It’s this couple’s cool and youthful look and feel that inspires us all to also aim high. Justin you’ve done such a great job this year! Navy Kenzo – I love you!