The Awards were ‘Dog’s Breakfast’

Without trying to take anything away from the Diversity Leader, organisers of the Malawi Music Awards, I want to say here, without fear or favour, that this whole show was some circus that should have done better with seeking or getting proper consultation.
Others have argued that all those that have come hard on the outcome of the awards should have done so before the moment nominees were announced, and I want to agree as well that they are right to the dot.
But it would be equally folly if I keep quite when it was made clear by the Diversity Leader that this event will become an annual fixture.
With the musical awards event, Diversity Leader once again exemplified how events are supposed to be organised. They are not a new kid on the block when it comes to paying tribute to outstanding Malawians. However, much as this country badly needs the Malawi Music Awards, the firm should have done extremely better had it consulted or had it received propel assistance on who does what in the local music world, so that they be put in their right place.
Come on! Even if you ask Symon and Kendal what genre they play, they would not be fooling with a fickle of imaginations that perhaps what they play is reggae; they would right away identify their genre by its rightful name, which is not reggae.
Now, when you lump Symon and Kendal, Limbani Banda, Black Missionaries, and Ndingo Brothers Band in a reggae category then you have something that has no name.
Diversity Leader Managing Director Denis Mitole did indicate that his firm put down the event in collaboration with Music Association of Malawi (MAM), Bata Shoe Company, Malasha Bus Company, Tourism Ministry, Nation Publications Limited, Capital Radio and OG Issa’s Afric Music.
One would be saying, with such high profiled linkage why should Mitole alone be made to bite the bullet. The simple reason is that because he is the shaker and mover in an as far as the whole make-believe was concerned.
To start with, if anyone says Flora Jolly Makonyola of the ‘Sanjika’ song fame, was the Lifetime Achiever Award winner then you have to start questioning who the voters were.
In the first place, if indeed votes came from people who are in touch with the local entertainment there is no way names of the likes of Giddes Chalamanda, Lucious Banda, Wambali Mkandawire and Mjura Mkandawire, would have been dwarfed by little known Makonyola. In all honest, I had ever heard the ‘Sanjika’ song but I have never heard the name before and yet I am closer to four decades old.
This would be the age group that is exposed to the awards philosophy as well as the voting style which was put in place and there is no way anyone would have voted for Makonyola.
I felt pity for Diversity Leader the first I saw their Reggae category where Black Missionaries, Mafunyeta, Lucius Banda, Skeffa Chimoto and Anthony Makondetsa were placed together.
Within this group there is no Symon and Kendal, at least according to the initial list that is on where Symon and Kendal were grouped in the BEST LOCAL with the ‘Mbewa Zanga’ dude Wilson Mwase, Lawrence Mbenjere, Thomas Chibade, and Moses Makawa.
At least putting the Ndirande Anglican Voices in the BEST GOSPEL together with Ethel Kamwendo Banda, Wambali Mkandawire, Grace Chinga and Lloyd Phiri made sense before the whole nomination turned into a laughing stock when the Ndirande Anglican Voices, which is a choir appeared in another category of BEST GROUP where there was Black Missionaries, Zembani Band, Groove Magic and Mizati all which are bands.
On BEST FEMALE how do you compare Tigris, Ethel Kamwendo Banda, Grace Chinga, Wendy Harawa and Rina. How and when do become the best female musician?
The good innovation in establishing the awards was watered down by misplacement what would otherwise have been a glittering event.
To an extent it was an insult to nominate some of the artists that were misplaced. In all this it was purely dog’s breakfast and I pray that next year things will be better.


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