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URBAN TRENDS: About Malawi music, arts awards

Awards are meant to recognize and motivate artists for their contributions in respective fields ranging from music, fashion, broadcasting to theatre.

For a long time, there has been an outcry over the lack of assorted award shows in the country.In Malawi, mainstream award shows started with Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC)’s “Entertainers of the year” before rebranding to MBC Innovation Awards and since then everything changed.

In 2009, what started as a music party, youths having fun at Green Bamboo Park in Blantyre, Nde’feyo’s UMP now known as Urban Music People Awards are a force to reckon with in as far as award ceremonies are concerned.

Five years later, the inaugural Musicians Association of Malawi Awards (MAMMAs) were held. The MAMMAs then rebranded to Music Malawi Awards (MUMA) to reflect the overall mission and vision of the awards.Despite the changes, MUMA organizers promised to keep the awards as a premier outlet for honoring achievements in the local music industry and supporting local musicians to realize their full potential and dreams.

Over the years, we have seen individuals and companies coming up with different award ceremonies.

In 2017, we witnessed the inaugural Nyasa Music Awards (NMAs) which took place at COMESA Hall on 5th May.

Mzuzu Fashion Week Awards, Malawi Movie Awards also known as Mollywood Awards and Malawi Hip Hop Awards (MHHA) were initially earmarked to take place in 2017.

Unfortunately, the first Malawi Hip Hop Awards failed to happen due to financial constraints.

Three years later, the inaugural Malawi Hip Hop Awards are officially slated for 28 November, 2020.

This is a welcome development considering the fact that fashion and movies are booming industries in the country.

Apart from creating room for competition whereby improving the quality of different art forms, awards also show relevance of artists.

But, do we really reward deserving artists? What criterion do we use when voting? Do we vote based on creativity or popularity? We must be extra careful when voting to avoid frustrating hard working artists who truly deserve the accolades.

Previous shows have left people with more questions than answers. We need more of these award shows so we learn along the way.

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Harold Kapindu

Harold Kapindu is an award winning online arts and entertainment journalist based in Lilongwe, Malawi. He has previously worked with Malawi News Agency and Timveni Child and Youth Organization. Contact malawianrapbattle@gmail.com

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