MTV Africa Music Awards (MAMA), created in 2008 to celebrate the most popular contemporary music in Africa, has returned after a four-year absence.
MAMA which first held in Nigeria in its first edition in 2008, held its last ceremony in 2016 in Johannesburg and has been on hiatus since then.
Now after four years, the organisers have announced the return of the awards’ ceremony which will now hold on Saturday, February 20, 2021, in Kampala, Uganda.
The 2021 event in Kampala will be held in a re-imagined virtual format in partnership with Uganda and will broadcast on MTV Base and MTV.
The awards ceremony will feature vibrant performances from leading African and international artists and will also showcase some of the biggest cross-genre and cross-border collaborations.
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 recognised 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 recognise 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 recognises 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 will only be for materials released between 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.
“We are excited to bring this amazing showcase to audiences across the continent and globally with an innovatively re-imagined awards show and celebration,” Monde Twala who is the Senior Vice President & General Manager, VCNA said during a press conference to announce the return of the MAMA.
“Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, content production has embraced innovation as the new gold and we are excited to take Africa to the World and showcase its immense talent and culture as we stage the biggest music awards show on the continent.”
First staged in 2008, the MTV Africa Music Awards has recognised the talent of musicians, achievers and personalities from across Africa, rewarding iconic artists and game-changers.
Nigeria has dominated the award 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 he latest hiatus.