Lilongwe-based reggae dancehall artist Malinga Mafia has become the first artist to decline an award for Best Video from Nyasa Music Awards, which were held Friday night at Comesa Hall in Blantyre, describing it as bogus.
The artist has since accused the organisers of the inaugural awards for lacking professionalism in the manner they handled the awards, particularly his.
“My video, Levels, was tied neck-to-neck with Tay Grin’s Chipapapa. But the organisers called me two days after the event to inform me that I have won an award for the category. They indicated that they will give me the award, which does not bear any category on it. But I have declined it.
“Firstly, as one of the winners, it’s unethical to be called after the awards gala had already taken place. That’s strange and unheard of. Secondly, I can’t accept the award which does not indicate the category I have won,” said Malinga.
Malinga’s video, Levels, received equal votes with Tay Grin’s Chipapapa, according to the organisers. But they had the audacity to invite Tay Grin only to the main red-carpet event to receive his award.
In one of the leaked snapshots of a conversation between Malinga and a lady identified as Priscilla from Nyasa Music Awards, confirmed a careless approach of the organisers on the awards.
“Hi. Priscilla again. I have your trophy. Am in BTZ but coming to LLz on Thursday,” reads the communication.
Another one goes like: “It doesn’t have a category name. We printed them in the UK and we didn’t expect to have ties. So, we only had one extra trophy. If there was fraud in the votes zikanapezeka kutisitikananena kuti there was a tie [we would’ve not communicated if there was any suspected fraud on the votes].”
But Malinga questioned the conduct of the organisers for not inviting him to the gala in the first place.
“I think some event organisers take artists for granted in the country to the extent that they want to use and dump them. But it’s high time this deplorable conduct stopped,” said Malinga.
Malinga’s concerns were corroborated by several other artists who expressed their disapproval of the Nyasa Music Awards. The orgainsers received a good dose of mockery on urban musicians’ social forum called Mingoli Movement.
However, Q Malawezi urged artists, journalists, events organisers, public relations agencies, graphic designers and producers to be giving each other business and being professional about it.
“Together, we can create an alternative industry based on valuing each other, fairness and integrity,” said Q.