Urban Music People (UMP) awards are back this year with a new nomination format as the organisers seek to enhance the credibility of the process.
Previously, music lovers have raised concerns on how the short-listing process of nominees for the annual awards is done with some quarters suggesting that some artists are favoured. They argue that artists who do not deserve to be nominated find themselves on the list.
But this year, the UMP family has adopted the voting college system to be used in the music awards category. The voting colleges comprise media (radio, TV and print), major music festivals, major live music venues, entertainment committees from major colleges and popular vote through social media.
Organisers say votes from each of the five blocks will have equal weight and there will be five nominees for each of the music categories.
In the fashion category, a panel of judges will be guided by the input solicited from the public through social media. There will be four nominees for each of the fashion categories.
Brains behind the UMP awards Ken Zizwa, in an interview, said the introduction of the voting college system is among the many reforms being effected on the awards this year.
“We have used the college system because we also want to encourage wide participation. We have also engaged an external auditor.
“On top of that, we will also invite reviews and collaborations with Musicians Union of Malawi and Cosoma [Copyright Society of Malawi] for the final voting process,” he said.
The announcement of the nomination list for the 2019 UMP awards will be made on Saturday at Waves, formerly Cockpit in Lilongwe which will be preceded by a nomination party.
Communication from the UMP family indicates that the fashion category will have Fashion Designer of the Year (male and female), Best Fashion Designer, Fashion Icon of the Year which will be honorary presented to Ben Wandawanda.
The music category will have Artist of the Year, Song of the Year, Music Video of the Year, Best Duo/Group, and Producer of the Year and Lifetime Achievement which will be given to music promoter Jai Banda.
One of the organisers of the awards, Wisdom Phanga, said the blending of the fashion and music awards will give a new feel to the delivery of the whole awards this year.