To some people, an award is just a piece of silver or gold trophy that does not mean anything. But to artists, an award and its accompanying pomp means everything.
To them, an award is an endorsement that the artist is doing something worth and also shows approval of the fans.
This year two major award events took place; the Urban Music People (UMP) and the inaugural Malawi Hip Hop Awards. Traditional Nyasa Music Awards could not take place due to a shift in focus to live shows.
Founded by hip hop artist Gwamba, the Malawi Hip Hop Awards lit up social media on December 13.
However, being a virtual event, slow Internet challenges affected a majority of music lovers as they could not watch the show online.
But during the show, biggest winner of the night was Phyzix, real name Noel Chikoleka, who went home with three awards.
The Makofi hitmaker went home with Male Artist of the Year, Song of the Year and Album of the Year.
A week later Bingu International Convention Centre in Lilongwe played host to the UMP Awards show.
Phyzix was once again on top winning the Album of the Year (Gamba) and Best Hip Hop Act (Makofi) of the year. In total, Phyzix has bagged five awards this year.
In his trail came Patience Namadingo. The mash-up king took home two UMP awards for the Song of the Year (Mapulani) and Male Artist of the Year.
Namadingo alongside Ritaa—who won the Best Female Artist of the Year—smiled all the way to the bank after they got K500 000 each courtesy of Global Hope Mobilisation for being named artists of the year.
UMP chief executive officer Caleb Thole was over the moon with two rising stars. “We will collaborate with them more and hope to record a song around our thematic areas including human trafficking and gender, among others.
“They will be our brand ambassadors and the song will be promoted in countries such as Lesotho, Zambia, among others.”
Up-and-coming star Eli Njuchi, who is also the man of the moment following the launch of his debut album The Book of Eli, won the best Dance Hall Act while rapper Fredokiss got the Music Video of the Year for Dadada.
Urban acts, Suffix and Henwood, reigned supreme in the Best Gospel Act and Best Producer, respectively. Their recognition came just a week after the two grabbed similar awards in the inaugural Malawi Hip Hop Awards.
Surprisingly, The Dare Devils, who are arguably one of the most respected rap groups, failed to claim any award during the Malawi Hip Hop Awards but were recognised by UMP as the best Duo/Group. While Leslie Moyo and Rash Ley bagged the Best New Female and Male Artist, respectively.
In the fashion categories, Ms Pearl won designer of the Year while Blantyre-based Cecilia Bamusi got the best new designer award.
Best Female Entertainment Writer went to NPL’s Edith Gondwe while Sharon Chirwa, formerly of Times got the best female Radio DJ Personality and Zodiak’s Priscilla Kayira received the best Female TV Personality.
Long-time Miss Malawi organiser Carver Bhima was given an honorary award for the living legend in fashion while in media, TV Personality Geoffrey Mr Splash Kapusa got the honour.
Those who lost out this year are Martse, Malinga, Janta, Suffix, Sangie and Kim of Diamonds among others.