The All Africa Music Awards (Afrima) on Friday revealed some of the nominees for this year’s edition of the awards slated for November 15 in Nigeria.
However, it is another missed opportunity for Malawi to showcase its talent on the international music platform as no artist from the country has been shortlisted.
Last year, Afrima had Malawi’s Afro-soul singer Lawi nominated for the Best Male Artist in Southern Africa category for his hit track The Whistling Song. But he lost out to South African Heavy K’s Beautiful War.
These are the third awards Malawi has missed out this year alone after the MTV Africa Music Awards (Mama), held in South Africa in July, and the upcoming African Muzik Magazine Awards (Afrimma), slated for October in Dallas, USA.
Meanwhile, Malawian hip-hop artist Tay Grin says a lot needs to be done for local artists to be getting such recognition at international level.
In an interview, the once Channel O award winner and nominee said: “We are not promoting enough on the world stage. [Malawian] videos need to be visible around Africa; on DStv and local stations in different countries.”
On the other hand, Tay Grin said Malawian artists are struggling to make profits off their music; hence, it is difficult to achieve all that.
“All this costs a lot of money. If artists are not making top paper it’s hard to invest back into promotion and marketing.
“The industry needs support. Government needs to develop a deliberate policy to grow the entertainment industry. It needs funding.
“We need as a country to start valuing our artists; buying the music, paying for the shows et cetera. Once artists have money they can re-invest,” he observed.
Nde’feyo Entertainment director, Khumbo Munthali, while observing that music in Malawi has developed over the years, said the country will continue missing out on international awards because “we’re still not organised”.
“The industry hasn’t changed much structurally. We are still not organised. This makes it difficult for our music to cross borders and reach the audience out there,” he said.
He further observed that the there is no holistic approach as the Music Union of Malawi (MUM) does not recognise Record Labels and as such the labels and artists continue lagging behind.