Barely two weeks after Urban Music People (UMP) announced that Ben Wandawanda would receive this year’s Fashion Icon Award, UMP organisers have also revealed that Mr Entertainer, real name, Jai Banda, is this year’s recipient of UMP Lifetime Achievement Award.
The veteran promoter, who is also a lawyer and has been in the music industry for years driving Entertainers Promotions which is now being headed by his son Tonderai, said Tuesday he was happy to have been recognised by UMP.
“I am happy to be recognised,” Banda said Tuesday.
The Lifetime Achievement Award was introduced to recognise people who have made a monumental and long lasting impact in the local music industry.
UMP Director, Ken Limwame better known as Zizwa, said the 2019 UMP Lifetime Achievement Award was given to Banda for his contribution to Malawi’s cultural identity through music.
“Jai Banda is the paragon of a music mogul in Malawi’s music industry, his influence spans decades and transcends genres. He deserves to be recognised for generations to come, and it is a pleasure for us to honour him with this award now,” Limwame said.
Banda has worked with several musicians including the late Bright Livewire Nkhata and is credited for nicknaming some of the artists in the country including Anthony Makondetsa, who he nicknamed Mr Cool for his coolness and perfect sound.
He also gave Skeffa Chimoto the nickname Jamming Machine for his live and electric performances.
“This is very good indeed. People who contribute enormously to the nation should always be accorded the respect whilst they are still alive. I am indebted to UMP for recognising the contribution I have done to the music industry,” Banda said.
He said he registered Entertainers Promotions in 1989 and that it has been active for over three decades.
Banda said the company was started with the aim of encouraging Malawian artists to be original and have an own identity of Malawian beat.
“That was the reason we introduced the Reggae by Foot festivals and then Phungwes to give a platform to Malawian artists to showcase their talent,” he said.
Commenting on the current music scene, Banda said: “Up to now we have not come up with music which can truly be described as Malawian the way Zambians, Zimbabweans and South Africans have done. Our music should be such that once one hears it, it should been known that it is from Malawi. That is what we have to work on [we need to have]. Our own identity so that we can also produce stars of international repute.”
Last year, the UMP Lifetime Achievement Award went to veteran musician Lucius Banda.
Other previous awardees include producer Tapps Bandawe, FM 101 Power owner Oscar Thompson, departed Reggae Dancehall artists Mafunyeta, Vic Marley, entertainment outfit Black Life Entertainment and Producer/Rapper Dynamike.
Recently, organisers came out to announce that the 2019 UMP Awards dubbed Blended Edition will this year have no music awards.
The awards will be held at Crossroads Hotel in Blantyre on December 14.
According to the details of the awards, the fashion category includes Fashion Designer of the Year, Model of the Year, Best New Fashion and Most Fashionable Celebrity and Living Legend.
The organisers have also indicated that they would have a few awards in the music category and they include Artist of the Year, Song of the Year and Music Video of the Year.