By Tamzyn Degoumois
This is an exciting year for the African music industry. The first ever MTV African Music Awards – MAMA’s – is to take place on 22 November in Abuja, Nigeria. MTV’s newest and most exciting award show will showcase and celebrate the various genres of contemporary African music culture. The awards, which will be hosted by legendary UK DJ Trevor Nelson, are guaranteed to be non-stop entertainment and will feature performances from a number of top African and International artists. The acts and music to be featured will include everything from R&B, rumba and dancehall to alternative, kwaito, afro-beat and funk. With all musical tastes having been catered for, this is an event that no one will want to miss.
There are ten awards categories including Artist of the Year, Best R&B performer, Best Alternative Performers, Best New Act and Best Group. South African Artists have received 18 nominations, making South Afirca the most nominated country. SA performers up for nomination include HHP, nominated for Best Male Performer, Best Hip-Hop Performer and Artist of the Year as well as DJ Cleo, also nominated for Best Male Performer. Loyiso is up for Best R&B Performer. South Africa’s female sensation, Zonke, has been nominated in the category of Best Female Artist. Freshlyground, The Parlotones and Jozi are all nominated for Best Group. Seether is up for Artist of the Year and Pro Kid is a likely winner in the category of Best Video for ‘Uthini ngo Pro’.
The popular Nigerian group, P–Square, has received a whopping five nominations and will be facing off against HHP, DJ Cleo and Pro Kid. D’Banj (Nigeria) is nominated for Best Male Performer and Artist of the Year whilst female artists Wahu (Kenya) and Asa (Nigeria) are the most nominated female performers’ with two nominations each. There are also various international artists nominated for awards including Akon, Rihanna and Alicia Keys who are all nominated in the category of Best R&B Performer. The Game and Lil’ Wayne are both up for the Best Hip-Hop Performer. In the category of Best Alternative Performer, Coldplay are facing off against Goldfish, The Parlotones, Seether and the Portuguese group Buraka Som Sistema.
Between 13 and 20 October, African listeners can also nominate artists and tracks for the Listener’s Choice Award Category. Nine radio stations across the continent, including 5fm, will be reviewing the ten biggest radio hits in each region which listeners can then vote for via SMS. The show promises to highlight and celebrate the best of Africa’s extraordinary musical talent.
To vote go online to http://www.mama.mtvbase.com or alternatively you can text your votes to 34002. The awards ceremony will be broadcast on MTV and MTV Base on 29 November.