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Awards fairytale in Malawi

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It is important for people to be decorated in various disciplines as part of appreciating the work they do and at the same time also motivate them to continue producing the best.

This is why different organisations come out to create different awards be it in sports, music or film just to name a few.

Outside the country there are several popular awards that people follow and although they are well planned, controversy is always there when it comes to nominations and winners.

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This is why it is always important for organisers to take awards seriously and prepare well before hitting the stage.

Relaxing on awards or holding them without proper planning ends up bringing lots of controversies and at the end you lose credibility.

The country has not been left out of the awards equation where people have experienced different awards in the creative industry.

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Some awards came with pomp but since there were no proper plans, the awards ended up dying a natural death.

There are some awards which came out being run by one person without any proper structures and the end result was zero on the market.

In the absence of more awards in the creative industry, the country has only looked up to awards such as the Urban Music People (UMP) formerly Urban Music Party and then the Nyasa Music Awards (NMA).

There are other awards which have been held decorating artists but they cannot be compared to UMP and NMA, who have come out with red carpet settings that are associated with awards.

They have created the buzz associated with awards including coming up with nominations.

UMP has had a soft spot for urban music neglecting the other genres.

And the coming in of NMA brought smiles to the creative industry as they indicated the awards would be different from UMP and also add more categories to reward different genres.

The NMA inaugurated last year received mixed reaction with some people questioning some of the winners.

The organisers promised to do their best in 2018.

The organisers of the awards to take place at Comesa Hall in Blantyre on May 4 2018, have since released the names of those nominated in different categories.

The names of the nominees have already started receiving mixed views from people with some feeling cheated with the list.

There are close to 22 categories in this year’s awards and they include Album of the Year, Best Hip Hop Artist, Best R&B, Best Gospel, Best New Comer, Best Acoustic Artist, Best Female Artist, Best Male Artist, Best Female Broadcaster, Best Group and Best Afro Pop.

The Album of the Year category has seen Lawi’s Sunset in the Sky and Lucius Banda’s Crimes making the list with Sangie’s Painless and David Kalilani’s Forerunner making the full list.

On Best Hip Hop Artist, the list has Fredokiss, Gwamba, Suffix, Macelba and Martse while Best Reggae Artist has Sangie, Saint, Black Missionaries, Firestar and Trummel.

On Best Secular Artist, the list has Atohti Manje, Lucius Banda, Lulu, Nepman and Skeffa Chimoto while the Best Group which has attracted lots of controversy has Homegrown, Bossaro Music Group, Classmates, Zathu Band and Nyasa Gurus.

“I think the organisers needed to do more research on these categories. Nyasa Gurus what have they done, they went silent and to me they do not even exist,” said one fan on social media.

Others have also questioned as to why some other artists were missing on the list despite doing well.

“Why is Dan Lufani not there, some names on the list have done nothing. Did those who were coming up with the list do their research right? Again what period are they looking at,” queried another fan.

Some quarters also feel the NMAs are still a duplication of UMP as the list of the categories still has a soft spot for urban music.

“Much as awards will never have controversies sometimes the organisers take people for granted. You can even see from the list that there was no proper research and the names have been done in a hurry without proper consultations. You need proper consultations before coming up with the nominees and they have to undergo thorough scrutiny,” an artist, who did not want to be named, said.

The artist said awards are supposed to be planned for a whole year observing that the categories should encompass all artists regardless of colour, race, religion among others, provided they have done better in the period under review.

“Last year we had a soft spot on them because it was the first time but this time they needed not to make such mistakes. Awards matter and its high time organisers started being serious. We would like to thank them for creating this platform but let them do it better,” the musician said.

One of the brains behind the awards, James Makunje Jr, said yesterday that the nominations were done by a group of media houses.

“We are satisfied with the list and as NMA we always strive to give people fair and transparent awards. So for us the next step is to ensure voting is done correctly and the rightful winners walk away with the awards,” he said.

Makunje Jr said the voting lines are not yet open and that they are targeting to do so next week.

“We welcome criticism from people but it should be constructive criticism. As I said we will try to give out the best as NMA,” he said.

The other categories are Song of the Year which has ‘Priceless’ by Theo Thomson, ‘Apsye Mtima’ by Macelba, ‘Che Patuma’ (Atohti Manje), Delilah (Saint) and ‘Wangongole’ by Janta.

There is also Best Female Broadcaster category which has Jean Chalungama, Nicole Kamwendo, Times Television presenters Sharon Jumbe and Sharon Chirwa.

Meanwhile, Makunje Jr also said they are making progress ahead of the awards and that they will now hold the last African Print Party.

“We are excited for the last of the African Print parties taking place at Levels Night Club in Zomba this weekend. We hope that we get the same support that we have been getting in the other parties as this is a new city,” he said.

The African Print Party will be held tonight.

Makunje Jr said they believe that the success of NMA should be celebrated by everyone who is passionate about home-grown initiatives.

“NMA’s success in future would depend on the majority of Malawians accepting the initiative as truly Malawian,” he said.

The other members behind the awards are Mathambo Lowole and Chifundo Maganga.

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