By Sam Banda Jnr:
The long awaited Urban Music People (UMP) Awards took place on Saturday night at Robin’s Park in Blantyre exposing several gaps which included disorganisation that disappointed some people.
It was a night which saw Piksy stand out, bagging the Artist of the Year Award as well as the Best Song for his track ‘Umakwana’.
“Frankly speaking I never saw this coming but I am thankful to God for this. I would like to thank my producer and manager for being there as well as the fans for voting for me,” Piksy said after receiving the award for Best Artist of the Year.
On the Artist of the Year, he beat nominees Fredokiss and Tay Grin as well as Gwamba and Suffix, who led the pack in the nominations with five nominations each.
One of the members of the organising team Ken Limamwe, better known as Zizwa, said as the Best Artist of the Year, he was set to pocket K200,000 pledged by one of the people living in the diaspora.
“We want to uplift talent in the country and should support our own,” Zizwa said.
Despite artists being decorated on the night, there were several flaws during the awards that showed clearly that UMP, which has been in existence for some time, is not making any steady progress in terms of giving people the best.
Awards are serious events that demand a lot, in most cases they are not 100 percent perfect but organisers need to make sure there are minimal and not obvious mistakes.
The awards ceremony had been billed to start at 6pm with some performances in the afternoon but delayed, starting two hours later.
The delay nearly haunted them, as they ended up doing things in a hurry to meet the deadline of 11pm which they had agreed with the venue owners.
Masters of ceremonies DJ Goxy and Super DT also seemed to have no proper programme for the awards as they were doing things randomly.
The previous outings have shown potential, but this year’s event was simply the worst.
The organisers could have put everything in place including testing videos of nominees before the ceremony but it seems this was not done, and the awards were arranged on the same night.
The organisers also failed to communicate to some of the winners who were not aware, one of them being Faith Mussa, who got the Best Live Act Award.
“They could have improved on communication because I was not aware I had been nominated in the first place and did not even have time to advertise and I am equally shocked I got an award,” Mussa said.
This also underlined the fact that organisers of awards in the country do not take time to look at how other awards internationally are organised, hence offering half- baked shows that live a lot to be desired.
The organisers could also have concentrated on the awards only as performances they had in the afternoon simply affected the attendance of some artists, who, after performing, had to go and change their attires.
“This is a good move so to say but I think they are not growing. I have been watching UMP Awards all these years but this is the worst. A lot of things should change and the way they come up with winners should be revisited,” one of the fans, John Lemani, said.
Shammah Vocals, who has taken the gospel music industry by storm having come out with ‘No Reverse’, also shined on the night, getting two awards of Best Afro-Soul Act and Best Urban Gospel.
“I don’t know what to say, I just want to thank God for this. Thank you for your support,” Shammah said.
The youthful artist capped his victory on the night by offering an energetic performance.
Kell Kay, who also performed, underlined his strength in R&B when he bagged the award for the fifth time.
Having got five nominations, Suffix made sure he did not come empty-handed when he claimed the Album of the Year for Before I Sleep.
Scallas also gave K100,000 each to two award winners on the night including Producer of the Year, which went to Henwood.
The other winners were Toast (Best Hip Hop), King Monada (Best Sadc Act), Mabilinganya Empire (Best Duo/Group), Zathu (Best Band), Tuno (Best Female Act), Eli Njuchi (Best New Act) and Gwamba and Fredokiss –‘Nthawi Zanji’—( Collabo of the Year).
The Humanitarian Award went to Fredokiss, who also performed alongside Gwamba while the Lifetime Achiever went to Soldier Lucius Banda, who was not available.
There were also performances from Salama Africa Dance Crew from Dzaleka Refugee Camp.
The UMP awards ended with an after-party at Scallas just a stone throw from Robin’s Park.