MTV Africa Music Awards Kampala 2021 (MAMA) has released the nominees list featuring top African musicians from Burna Boy, Busiswa, Davido, Diamond Platnumz, Innoss’B, Kabza De Small, John Blaq, Master KG, Suspect 95, Sheebah, Soraia Ramos, Tiwa Savage, Yemi Alade and WizKid – who were each nominated for two awards. São Tomé and Príncipe’s Calema leads the pack with three nominations for Artist of the Year, Best Group and Best Lusophone Act.
Fifty-two nominees from 15 countries were revealed in the initial 10 music categories by MTV Base on Wednesday evening, in partnership with Uganda during a 45-minute special show that aired on MTV Base.
In the Best Male category, Nigerians Burna Boy, Rema and Fireboy DML will face off against South African musos Kabza De Small and Master KG, as well as Tanzanian artist Harmonize, and Innoss’B from the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The highly contested Best Female category features fierce female competition with Uganda’s Sheebah facing off with Sho Madjozi and Busiswa from South Africa, Cape Verde’s Soraia Ramos and Simi, Yemi Alade and Tiwa Savage from Nigeria.
An epic battle of the bands is set to take place between Blaq Diamond; Kabza De Small & DJ Maphorisa of South Africa; Sauti Sol and Ethic from Kenya; Calema from São Tomé and Príncipe and Tanzania’s Rostam in the Best Group category.
The Artist of the Year also has some stiff competition, namely Burna Boy, Davido, Tiwa Savage and Wizkid from Nigeria, São Tomé and Príncipe’S Calema, Diamond Platnumz from Tanzania and South Africa’s Master KG.
Monde Twala, Senior Vice President and General Manager at ViacomCBS Networks Africa (VCNA) said, “These nominees represent some of the very best talent the continent has to offer. The MAMA is a great showcase and opportunity for African music along with youth culture to shine on the global stage. Congratulations to all the nominees who continue to push the boundaries of creativity and authenticity, we are proud of your contribution to the continent’s music industry in taking Africa to the World. It’s a celebration not to be missed.”
Two new categories have been announced for the MAMA Kampala 2021. The first is the exciting entrant of the Best Ugandan Act, which recognises the host country’s star and rising talent. The nominees include Sheebah, Bebe Cool, John Blaq, Vinka, Daddy Andre, and Spice Diana.
The second new category inspired as a reflection of the unique reality of the music scene in 2020 is the Alone Together: Best Lockdown Performance.
The second round of nominations, including Best Collaboration, Best International, Personality of the Year, Best Alternative Act, Best Fan Base Award and Song of the Year will be revealed from the 5 January 2021 on MTV Base.
The nominations in the music categories are selected by the MAMA Kampala 2021 Academy, an esteemed group of music industry, opinion formers and tastemakers from across the African continent who create a shortlist based on the artists and musicians who have received airplay on the channel over the previous year.
The academy looks for artists who embody the very best of African talent, who can bring a sense of Africa to a global audience and who want to inspire the youth with their music.
The MTV Africa Music Awards Kampala 2021 will be broadcast on MTV Base (DStv Channel 322) and MTV Africa (DStv Channel 130) on 20 February 2021. The show will also be aired on MTV channels across multiple continents as a one-hour MAMA-themed MTV World Stage feature.