The Nigerian government has awarded Burna Boy with the Distinguished Service Star of Rivers State (DSSRS) title. The award was reportedly conferred in his hometown of Port Harcourt this past weekend. This follows Burna Boy’s astounding win at the 63rd Grammy Awards two weeks ago for his critically acclaimed album Twice As Tall. According to reports, the DSSRS is the state’s second-highest distinction award; and is given in recognition of exceptional service or performance in any field of human endeavor.
The Governor, Nyesom Wike reportedly handed over the award to Burna boy, real name Damini Ogulu, withhis family and management in attendance; this according to the Daily Nigerian. In addition to the award title, Burna Boy will be gifted a plot of land as well as funds to build a house on the land. Wike stated that the award was a token of gratitude and hoped that it would serve as an; encouragement to River State for its people to strive to get to Burna Boy’s level. The bar has, admittedly, been set very high though Burna Boy was humble in his response to the award;
“I have collected honours everywhere in the world, but it feels different when you get it from home. This is my most humble moment and I thank each and every one of you. I thank the best Governor I have ever experienced. I don’t like politics and politicians but my Governor has shown me that; there is hope for the youths and there is hope for us. This award is not only for me but for all of you and the future Burna Boys. I love you Port Harcourt, everywhere I go, I carry you with me”
According to Music in Africa, the conferral happened during Burna Boy’s homecoming concertin honour of his grammy win and was well attended by his hometown fans. His fellow Port Harcourt musicians including Duncan Mighty and Timaya; also performed in his honour and reportedly received monetary honorariums from the governor.
Burna Boy won the “Best Global Music Album” Grammy for Twice as Tall after performing an amazing 20 minute rendition of four of his hit singles. He beat out Brazilian-American pop singer Bebel Gilberto, British-Indian sitar player and composer Anoushka Shankar; Brooklyn-based Afrobeat band Antibalas and Tuareg collectiveTinariwen who won in 2012 for their album Tassili.