The MTV Africa Music Awards (MAMA) will return in February 2021 for the first time in 4 years and they have officially been launched in Kampala Uganda where the virtual ceremony will take place.
Due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, the show will be a virtual event as it comes at a time of expanding the music industry.
The music celebration, which last took place in 2016, will happen in partnership with Uganda’s Ministry of Tourism.
For the February return, the Uganda partnership will lead to the inclusion of the country’s capital in the seventh MAMA’s name: MTV Africa Music Awards Kampala 2021. 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.” It will also air as a one-hour MAMA-themed MTV World Stage on MTV and BET international channels across “multiple” other continents.
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, which will “recognize outstanding personalities that have been at the forefront of culture on the continent during the year and include non-music stars” from the worlds of sports, celebrity, and industry. Nominees will be announced in December.
Twala unveiled the news of the event with Craig Paterson, senior vp & general manager, ViacomCBS Networks Africa, and Uganda’s state minister for tourism Godfrey Kiwanda. MTV said the virtual approach “will allow us to involve a wider variety of international talent and collaborations than the MAMA has ever seen, ensuring that MAMA Kampala 2021 will go down in history.”
MTV has in the past touted the music event’s role as a vehicle for raising the profiles of African musicians via the brand’s global reach.
The MTV Africa Music Awards were established in 2008 by MTV Networks Africa, now ViacomCBS Networks Africa, to celebrate popular contemporary music.
The 2008 and 2010 events took place in Nigeria, first in Abuja and then in Lagos. The 2009 event happened in Nairobi, the capital of Kenya. After a three-year hiatus, the MAMA returned in 2014 in Durban, South Africa, which also hosted the 2015 edition. The most recent version in 2016 also happened in South Africa, but moved to Johannesburg.
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