Malawi Music Awards 2014 under fire

The Musicians Association of Malawi (MAM) is under fire for the MAM Malawi Music Awards 2014, which have been described as “mediocre” by both artists and fans.

The country’s musicians’ body announced mid last month that it would be hosting the 2014 Malawi music awards at a ceremony which was initially slated for January 3rd 2014, before shifting it to next Friday, 24th January, at Bingu International Conference Centre in Lilongwe.

On Tuesday this week, MAM went ahead to publish the nominees for the upcoming awards on its Malawi Music Awards on social media, indicating that winners would be decided by public votes through SMS.

Nkasa on reggae category
Nkasa on reggae category

This means Malawians will have less than a week to decide winners in the 16 categories, which include Best Male, Best Female, Best Gospel, Best Acoustic, Best Song 2012-2013, Life Achievers, All Time Band, Best Reggae/Dancehall, Best Traditional, Most Popular Ringtone, Best Urban-Hip Hop/Rap Music, Best Choral, Stage Performance, Best Upcoming Band, Best ‘All Time’ Band and Upcoming Artist.

However, critics have questioned the criteria which MAM used to shortlist the nominees and how some musicians were categorized. Two notable categories which are under attack are Best Reggae/Dancehall and Best Traditional.

The nominees for Best Reggae/Dancehall are Sally Nyundo, Black Missionaries, Joseph Nkasa, Black Jack, Blasto and Prince Martin, while Best Traditional has Fikisa, Moses Makawa, Wambali Mkandawire, Joe Gwaladi, Katelele Ching’oma and Ben Mankhamba.

Renowned Dancehall artist Blakjak, suggested “If Dancehall Category Could Be Separated From Reggae.” He posted on the Malawi Music Awards Facebook account.

The ‘Wadya Iwe” hit maker went further to suggest the following nominees for the respective categories. Dancehall Artist of the Year: Blasto, Blakjak, Mafunyeta (RIP), Shozi/ Mafo, Nesnes and Mabilinganya, while in the Best Reggae category he grouped Anthony Makondetsa, Skefa Chimoto, Prince Martin, Sally Nyundo and Black Missionaries.

Guy B Raspy, a television presenter working with AFJ TV in Blantyre wrote: “Now I dont understand the difference between Nkasa music and Makawa or Katelere koma akuti wina does Reggae dancehall and the respective two do local music.”

Panther Rix, host of Mingoli YachiMalawi, a local music show on private-owned Capital FM also wrote on the page questioning: “Nkasa is a reggae artist? come on guys its showing how unprepared and un organised you are.”

Maurice Delano Nkawihe, a Nyasa Times journalist-cum-musician described the wards as a joke, saying: “Malawi MusicAwards, a clear indication that even the organisers don’t know music…Nkasa anayimba liti dancehall/reggae. Akuti Wambali Mkandawire traditional music artist.”

Another critic Llonjezo Eddie Junior Mkolesia. also questioned why the awards are called Malawi Music Awards 2014, while it includes songs and ringtones released in the year 2012.

But responding to the critics on the same Facebook page, the organizers have said: “The artists chosen as nominees was not randomly hand-picked by one individual. These artists was voted for by fellow Malawians. As stated before please tell us what artist you would like to see nominated for next years awards.”

Meanwhile, MAM has said all artists nominated are those registered with the body and pointing out that since this is MAM’s Music Awards, any artist who is not registered with the organization could not make it on the list.

“… if you would like to see your favorite artist nominated for the MAM Music Awards next year encourage them to register with MAM,” wrote MAM on its page.

According to the Malawi Music Awards 2014, voting will start Friday (tomorrow), 17th January, 2014.

These will be the second music awards to be hosted in the country following the 2011 Malawian Music Awards (MMA) hosted by Inc. Media.

Below are the nominees for the MAM Malawi Music Awards 2014:

BEST REGGAE/DANCEHALL Sally Nyundo, Black Missionaries, Joseph Nkasa, Black Jack, Blasto, Prince Martin

BEST FEMALE Ethel Kamwendo, Tigris, Wendy Harawa, Grace Chinga, Martha Pingasa , Ludo Nkukupa-Chakwera

BEST MALE Lucius Banda, Skeffa Chimoto, Maskal, Piksy, Lulu, Antony Makondesa

BEST URBAN-HIP HOP/RAP MUSIC Third Eye, Dare Davils, Barryone , Young Kay, Tay Grin, Gwamba

BEST SONG 2012-2013 Zilindiwe-Maskal, Uncle Short One-Piksy, Sinditha kumvetsa-Armstrong, Desperate-Faith Mussa,  Chinamuluma chakuda-Skeffa Chimoto,  Angochimwirabe-Black Missionaries,  Mtima Wankana-Lulu

MOST POPULAR RINGTONE Unamata-Piksy,  Ndamusowa-Armstrong,  Black Missionaries,  Zilindiwe-Maskal, Part of Life-Dan Lu,  Ndzalera-Lulu

BEST CHORAL Great Angels Anglican Voices,  Mvama Women Choir, Masintha Women, s Kapita Sunday School (Nursery), Kafita Nursery Choir

STAGE PERFORMANCE Zembani Band, Kamuzu Barracks, Fikisa, Black Missionaries, Edgar ndi Davis, Lulu

BEST TRADITIONAL Fikisa, Moses Makawa, Wambali Mkandawire, Joe Gwaladi,  Katelele Ching’oma, Ben Mankhamba

BEST GOSPEL Mlaka Maliro, Faith Mussa, Patience Namadingo, Grace Chinga, Ethel Kamwendo Banda, George Mkandawire

BEST ACOUSTIC Edgar ndi Davis, Joe Gwaladi, Gides Chalamanda, Agoloso, Snowden Ibu, Ndingo Brothers

BEST UPCOMING BAND Ran Tings, Pamulonga Band, Konkaraz Band,  Mibawa 1 Band , Mafirika Band, Armagedon Band

BEST ‘All Time’ BAND Zembani Band, Lucky Stars, Black Missionaries , Alleluyah Band, Ravers Band , The Roots

UPCOMING ARTIST Fikisa, Patience Namadingo,  Faith Mussa,  Allan Chirwa , Kamuzu Barracks,  Tionge Hango

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