Like guardians raping children they ought to safeguard, Music Association of Malawi (MAM) has defiled standards by hurrying into awards to be presented by Vice President Khumbo Kachali at Bingu International Centre in Lilongwe tonight.
The Awards may be just another night for Banda to replay all the usual jazz, but MAM’s haphazardness leaves one wondering why they are happily desecrating the art they are elected to protect and uplift?
What are they high on at MAM? The mix-up that is the nomination list begs this question and more.
Elsewhere, music awards are the stuff for fresh smash hits, not stale sounds. However, MAM’s list is blighted by Dan Lu’s 2010 hit Part of Life lumped together with Skeffa Chimoto’s latest crowdpuller Chinamuluma Chakuda.
Ever wondered why Channel O and MTV music awards have no nods for yesteryears’ hits, the exhumations of golden oldies often reserved for the so-called Lifetime Achiever Awards?
Showbiz’s awards are not meant for massaging egos of stars that went unrecognised when they were really hot, but conferring status on deserving achievers that are trending. Period!
While overrated artists were excitedly campaigning for votes because it’s their only chance to get an accolade, the likes of dancehall ace Blasto—ill lumped together with the Black Missionaries, Anthony Makondetsa, Joseph Nkasa and Prince Martin in the reggae-dancehall category—were withdrawing in protest to bizarre categorisation of artists.
The questionable placement of wannabes puts today’s awards in the same league as Kondwani Magera’s deception, the 2013 Gospel Music Awards which were soundly criticised by MAM chair, the Reverend Chimwemwe Mhango, and discarded by nominees Ndirande Anglican Voices and Khama Khwililo.
And reggae and dancehall are not identical twins. Actually, dancehall borrows limited flavourings from reggae. Likewise, Nkasa’s is not reggae. It’s like beans in beef spices, not actual beef.
Yet the cluttered reggae-dancehall category points to graver confusion that make the MAM sham just another red-carpet opportunity to dine and wine in the name of music. It may as well be another expensive campaign rally or endorsement for President Banda ahead of May 20 polls.