About a month ago, speculation was rife after the Independence Monument on Speke Road in Kampala City was transformed into a gigantic letter “M”.
Given the politically charged situation the country is currently experiencing, multiple city dwellers opined that it could be a campaign gimmick by NRM and its leader Yoweri Kaguta Museveni. As it turns out, it was actually a teaser campaign by MTV, regarding the location for the next 2021 MTV Africa Music Awards Show.
The American broadcaster confirmed today 25th of November, 2020, that the awards show, which was originally slated for 2019 only for it to not take place in unclear circumstances, promoted belief that it would be postponed to 2020.
However, all that changed after the Coronavirus pandemic hit, forcing MTV to scrap any plans of the show taking place but now it seems all hope has been regained with Kampala picked as the main event location come next year.
“It’s official! Africa’s biggest music celebration is heading to Uganda. The #MTVMAMA takes place in Kampala on the 20th of February 2021” a YouTube video link released by MTV on Twitter declared.
— MTV Base Africa (@MTVBaseAfrica) November 25, 2020
The awards return after a four-year hiatus, having last taken place in 2016, in Johannesburg, South Africa at the Ticketpro Dome.
MTV Africa and MTV Base announced the return of the continental flagship award show in 2021. The Iconic MTV Base celebration, MTV Africa Music Awards (MAMA), which showcases the ultimate in African culture, music, and creativity, will be held in a re-imagined virtual format in partnership with Uganda, The Pearl of Africa on February 20 2021.
The news is a major boost to the Ugandan music industry, which is at a crucial point in its development as it aims to catch up with the established industries of countries such as Nigeria and South Africa, which incidentally have both hosted the show before.
MTV Africa Music Awards (MAMA) coming to Kampala
The news was confirmed by Monde Twala, Senior Vice President and General Manager for Viacom CBS Networks Africa. Like most entertainment events this year, the MTV Africa Music Awards are expected to be held online due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
The event will celebrate African talent across 20 award categories, including Best Male, Best Female, Best Song, and Best Collaboration. The contribution of artists from Portuguese and French-speaking Africa will also be recognized in the Best Lusophone and Best Francophone categories.
Additional new categories included are the MAMA Generation Change Award, Best Fan Base, Alone Together Best Lock-down Performance and Personality of the Year. These new categories seek to demonstrate MTV Base’s commitment to supporting the youth of Africa.
The MAMA Generation Change Award will recognize the inspiring, young changemakers of the continent who are tackling some of the world’s most challenging social problems. The Alone Together Best Lock-down Performance recognizes outstanding performances that took place virtually by celebrating artists who took to streaming services to share their music and unite society during the unprecedented 2020 Lockdown.
The category selection criteria will start from October 1, 2019, to October 1, 2020. The nominees will be announced in December 2020 and music lovers will have their say by voting for their favourite stars online.
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Author: Timothy Ainebyoona
Timothy is a dynamic analyst passionate about news and all things sport.