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MTV Africa Music Awards to Return After Four-year Hiatus

The MTV Africa Music Awards (MAMA) will return in early 2021 for the first time in four years.

The awards which showcase African culture, music, and creativity will be held in a reimagined virtual format in partnership with Uganda.

In a statement, the organisers said the MAMAs 2021, set to be held on February 20, will recognise and reward musicians, trailblazers and those who are shining a light on the continent’s diverse talent and creativity by instilling positive impact on African music and youth culture in the past year.

The music celebration comes amid an expansion of original content at ViacomCBS’ African networks.

Monde Twala, senior vice president of ViacomCBS Networks Africa, hailed Uganda’s vision to use the awards to unite young people through culture and music, and also celebrate music across the continent.

“Everyone knows that the Pearl of Africa (Uganda) is one of the most beautiful, most amazing parts of Africa…and the people, the vibe, the music in Uganda…there is no other place that is well and ready to host the MAMAs in 2021,” Twala said.

“Over the years, the MAMA has demonstrated to have the power to inspire young people and unifying communities across the continent through music, which is the main reason why we decided to bring back the MAMA now. We want to inspire young people, unify them and give them much needed hope in one of the most difficult moments in history, connect them, and through this virtual innovation, we are confident that we will deliver positive change which can inspire critical conversations through music and culture.”

The event will feature 20 award categories, including best song, best collaboration, best female, best male, and the MAMA Generation Change Award. New honors this year will also include ones for the Alone Together Best Lockdown Performance, Best Fan Base, and Personality of the Year,

The contribution of artistes from Portuguese and French-speaking Africa will also be recognised in the Best Lusophone and Best Francophone categories.

The show will air across the continent on the MTV Base and MTV networks, featuring vibrant performances from African and international artists and the show’s signature cross-genre and cross-border collaborations.

Nigeria has dominated the award since its inception in 2008, with the Artistes of the Year awards going to Nigerian artistes D’Banj, 2face and Davido in the first four straight editions.

The award was held consecutively from 2008 to 2010 before a three-year and then returned in 2014 for three successive years before the latest hiatus.

Rita Osakwe

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