By Benjamin Njoku
Starboy, Wizkid, Cassper Nyovest, AKA and Sauti Sol lead the pack in the first round of nominations for the forthcoming MTV Africa Music Awards Johannesburg 2016,MAMA, with an impressive nine nominations between them.
In lifestyle category Personality of the Year, Pearl Thusi goes up against soccer player Pierre Emerick Aubameyang (Gabon), middle distance runner and Olympic gold medallist Caster Semenya, blogger Linda Ikeji (Nigeria) and musician Wizkid (Nigeria) vie for Personality of the Year.
The MTV Africa Music Awards Johannesburg 2016 is brought to you by Joburg Tourism in partnership with Absolut Vodka and Google and in association with MTN and DStv.
Fifty MAMA nominees including artists and achievers from 18 countries were revealed in 9 key music and lifestyle award categories by Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN) Africa and MTV Base (DStv channel 322) at a star-studded reception at Constitution Hill, Johannesburg, South Africa last night.
At the front of the field is Nigerian star Wizkid with three nominations including nods in Best Male, Best Collaboration and Personality of the Year. Next in line with two nominations each are AKA (South Africa), Cassper Nyovest (South Africa) and Sauti Sol (Kenya). The hotly contested Best Hip Hop category sees MAMA nominations for Emtee and Riky Rick of South Africa, who’ll be going head to head against Nigeria’s Olamide and Ycee, and Kiff No Beat (Ivory Coast). An epic battle of the bands is in store in the Best Group category where Ghana’s R2bees face off against Kenya’s Sauti Sol, South Africa’s Mi Casa, Navy Kenzo from Tanzania and Togolese duo, Toofan.
The second round of nominations, comprising 7 additional award categories, including Artist of the Year, Best Female, Listener’s Choice, Best Breakthrough, Best Francophone, Song of the Year in partnership with Google, and Video of the Year, will be revealed at the Hard Rock Café, Lagos, Nigeria during Road to MAMA – Lagos 2016 (2 October 2016). No nominations will be revealed for the MTV Base Reimagined award, and MAMA Legend.
Commented Alex Okosi, Senior Vice President & Managing Director, Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN) Africa, “The MAMA celebrates Africa’s incredible young musicians and trailblazers by breaking down barriers, driving engagement, and highlighting the continent’s rich and abundant talent. It’s an honour to be able to salute their achievements at MAMA 2016, and we offer our congratulations to all of the nominees as we look forward to the most exciting and diverse MAMA yet.”