At the 2016 MTV Africa Music Awards (MAMA), a lot of winners emerged, with plenty of suprises. But the biggest of the night has to be the emergence of Tekno as the Best Breakthrough Act of the MAMA 2016.

The Made Men Music Group (TripleMG) singer edged out Falz (Nigeria) Simi (Nigeria), Emtee (South Africa), Babes Wodumo (South Africa), Franko (Cameroon), Nasty C (South Africa), Nathi (South Africa) and Raymond (Tanzania).

The award which held on the night of Saturday, October 22, 2016 at the Ticketpro Dome, Johannesburg, South Africa, witnessed other artistes emerge winners across various categories.

Who would have thought that we would get to this point when Tekno is recognised by the highest music award on the continent for his contribution to music?

No one. Nobody saw this coming. No one dreamt it. But here we are, and Tekno is killing it.

A quick look through Google data of the most searched artiste in that category within the past one year will show Tekno being the most sought after all over the world. Only Emtee comes close, with Nasty C and Falz tied a level behind Tekno.

The young, light-skinned, musician is currently the de facto Prince of Nigerian pop music, after many years of hustle in the game. Originally born in Bauchi, Tekno who had a father serving in the Nigerian army was transferred between Nassarawa, and Kaduna, before settling in Abuja. It is in the nation’s capital city that he found his rhythm with music.

First signed to K-Money Entertainment, the singer dropped his first single, ‘Holiday’ featuring Davido in 2012. He was later signed to Ubi Franklin’s MMMG in 2013, and 2014 saw him core his first real hit, ‘Dance’, followed by ‘Anything’.

Loving Tekno is easy. He makes it simple for everyone to fall in love with not just his music, but also his celebrity. His lifestyle is a cross of D’banj and an Ice Prince, as he alternates between classy and flashy. There’s also humor too, adding another element to his act.

Then there’s his boyish handsomeness. Yes, he is handsome.

However, it is his music that placed him on course to be the MVP of 2016. Last year, Tekno’s ‘Duro’ and ‘Wash’ were more than songs. They became a state of mind in romance, as relationships and marriages depended on the delightful melody, and the nonsensical pleasing lyrics to savour moments. Lines like “Your beauty done make me realise, say NEPA don bring light”, and “If you like to watch movies, na me get Shoprite”, resonated deeply with lovers. Truly, that buzz is yet to die.

2016 has had him fire some more, giving us more hits, as ‘Where’ has achieved acceptance. His second single ‘Pana’ is exploding and spreading like wildfire. The song has caught on in the East, the West are on it, and in street corners and clubs, Pana is making a surge through. A video has been released which was directed by ace filmmaker, Clarence Peters.

The pop music scape in Africa is a flimsy one, where singles die a fast death, which is a direct result of the stiff competition that exists due to an abundance of content in that genre. Pop music is currently Nigeria’s most definitive genre, and the front-liners of it get the most reward. Tekno is the first on the list right now, and his stock keeps growing. He is currently considered the hottest artiste in the country.

In a year where Wizkid has had his attentions on the international scene, and Davido’s mojo was stifled by Sony Music, Tekno has risen to the occasion, with two hot singles. He is nowhere the levels of these kings of the genre, with so much more to develop about his artistic and musical ability and credentials.

But he is occupying a role much lower, but currently influential and flamboyant. He is the prince of Nigeria pop music. All that remains for him right now is a body of work to mark this time, and provide fans with a holistic feel of his art.

But for now, he is the prince, one who shines on a level lower than the kings of the genre, and the MTV Africa Music Awards proves it.