After celebrating African musicians for the past three years, the MAMAs didn't come through in 2017. Here's why.
The award ceremony which has been in running for 6 years, appears to be a no-show this year, and if this happens, it will mark the first time, that the awards will not be holding in the past 3 years.
The MTV Africa Music Awards (also known as the MAMAs) were established in 2008 by MTV Networks Africa (now Viacom International Media Networks Africa) to celebrate the most popular contemporary music in Africa.
It was conceived and created by the SVP and MD of the MTV Networks in Africa, Alex Okosi. Earlier, African artists had been included in the MTV Europe Music Award where MTV Base Africa viewers voted for Best African artist in the 2006 and 2007 MTV Europe Music Awards.
The first awards show was held at the Velodrome, Abuja in Nigeria on November 22, 2008 and was broadcast around the world on November 29 in conjunction with Airtel and local television channels in Africa. The show was hosted by Trevor Nelson.
The awards were preceded by four concerts in different cities celebrating the musicians nominated for the awards. The Award categories included Artist of the Year, Best Alternative, Best Female, Best Group, Best Hip-Hop, Best Live Performance, Best Male, Best New Act, Best R&B, Video of the Year and the MY Video Award which allows viewers to make their own version of a music video.
The 2009 event took place in Nairobi, Kenya at the Moi International Sports Centre in October 2009. In 2010, the awards were again held in Nigeria, at Eko Expo Hall in Lagos. This year, some award categories were to better reflect the music of the entire continent, hence creating awards for Best Anglophone, Best Lusophone and Best Francophone artists.
After a 3-year hiatus, Viacom International Media Networks Africa announced that the MTV Africa Music Awards would return in June 2014. The event took place at the ICC, Durban, KwaZulu-Natal on July 18 2015, and the sixth edition took place in Johannesburg, South Africa on October 22, 2016 at the Ticketpro Dome. It featured a headline performance by US rapper Future.
“The MTV Africa Music Awards (MAMA) is the continent’s most influential award which recognises and rewards musicians and achievers who have made the most impact on African music and youth culture,” says Alex Okosi, Executive Vice President and Managing Director of Viacom International Media Networks Africa (VIMN Africa) in an email to Pulse. “At Viacom International Media Networks Africa we have been working to reinvent the MAMA to create a deeper music experience that will be more immersive for our fans and partners in 2018.”
He continued: “The campaign will continue to be fully reflective of the continent’s great music and lifestyle that is shaping the continent. It’s important to emphasize that all the great music that has emerged during the period from the last MAMA and the next will be recognized for accolades.”
“The MAMA campaign requires collaboration with the industry, partners and broadcasters to bring this world class event to life.”
The MAMAs isn’t the only popular awards that didn’t hold in 2017. Nigeria’s greatest music awards, The Headies, also failed to have an edition in 2017.