On May 5 2017 the Comesa Hall in Blantyre was host to the inaugural show for Nyasa Music Awards. If I will come here to demean the event then I am not different from all those that do not love our music industry. I also hate to be a ‘Monday coach’ that waits for an opportunity to pounce on a mistake, both perceived and real.
What has however prompted me to spend time discussing the awards this week is the communication dated May 10, 2017 titled ‘Clarification of events during Nyasa Music Awards show’ which contrary to what it intended to achieve left more questions that needed more clarity than answers.
The three directors of the Nyasa Music Awards that include enchantingly brainy Mathambo Lowole, the ambitiously innovative James Makunje and the shrewdly industrious Chifundo Maganga, came up with an explanation that attempted to among others, clear the air surrounding the awards and the Musicians Union of Malawi (MUM), as well as Malinga Mafia saga.
I will start with the issue with MUM, where the directors were responding to claims in the media by its chairperson, Reverend Chimwemwe Mhango that they were never involved. The explanation the directors gave is that they had a telephone conversation with the chairperson on January 18 2017 and formally wrote him an e-mail the following day which had details of the awards show.
I do not know how MUM wanted to be involved more than this. I also have a history of how MUM botched up these awards and I would not even be apologetic in applauding the organisers for not involving them full throttle. The least that was supposed to happen was to inform them which the directors ably did and I have no problems with this.
On Malinga Mafia’s claims that he was being invited to get an award after the show indicate to me that the directors conceded failure. Indeed the aggregator indicated that there was a tie in the Best Video category between Tay Grin and Malinga Mafia. This prompted them to consult, not one but their two lawyers present at Comesa who advised that people with authority—never mind how to identify authority in people in such an aspect—should cast their votes to break the tie.
First, the explanation is that the people with authority made the decision to let the audience at Comesa to break the tie. However, when the sponsor of the category was on stage to announce the winner, the sponsor did not notice that there was a tie and the sponsor announced that Tay Grin was the winner.
Since Tay Grin had already collected the award, the directors say they decided that it would only be fair for the two artists to share the award.
Yes, NMA expects the media to present the truth by balancing the stories; doing proper research and seeking clarification if necessary but on this one, accept that this was messed up.
To me, the directors showed favouritism. Steve Harvey made a mistake on stage at Miss Universe and was made to correct it there and then. What was so difficult to correct the mistake made by the sponsor there and then?