Complaints that Musician Association of Malawi (MAM) did not perform well in most of the areas during the inaugural MAM Awards last month continue.
MAM has been under attack since it announced the nominees, with some quarters arguing that some categories did not make sense and some artists were wrongly placed.
At a time when the smoke seemed to be settling, Mlaka Maliro, who clinched the Best Gospel Musician Award, has come out to reveal the pain in most of the winners saying the cash prizes were not motivating.
The one time Musician of the Year was reacting to the award which came as a surprise as he is a new figure in the gospel music.
According to Mlaka and another winner Piksy, each of the winners got a miniature and K50 000 (about $125) cash.
“I am told the event cost MAM around K15 million [$37 500]. This is a huge sum of money and to create competition, they were supposed to include an attractive sum on the prizes,” said Mlaka.
Some of the winners interviewed randomly said the cash prize was too meagre, but said they are proud for the recognition.
Most of the musicians questioned how MAM spent the K15 million when they gave the winners such little cash.
While admitting the shortfalls, MAM president Chimwemwe Mhango confessed that the organisation spent about K15 million, but they are yet to meet with partners to assess how the funds were used.
“It is true that we gave the winners K50 000 each except the lifetime achievers who only got a miniature and a GOtv set from Multichoice Malawi. I agree the cash prize was too small. My initial wish was that the winners should get above K200 000 (about $500), but we did not achieve this because some sponsors failed to live up to their promises,” said Mhango.
He added that because most sponsors came at the last minute, the organising team opted to prioritise on the artist’ safety by organising transport and accommodation for some and pay some upkeep.
He also revealed that they spent about K6 million (about $15 000) to use the Bingu International Conference Centre and get the meals, plus hiring artists and bands to perform.
“By the end of the event, we had spent approximately K12 million [about $30 000] and there were some extra costs incurred after the event. We promise to do better this year provided more sponsors come in to support us. We welcome all criticisms because they will make us better this year,” said Mhango, who pledged that nomination list of artists will be announced by October.