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MTV Base Set To Reunite Africa In Durban

By Chuks Nwanne
30 May 2015   |   4:32 am
For a city like Durban, which is gradually gaining popularity as the entertainment and tourism capital of Africa, the recent xenophobic violence was indeed an unfortunate incident.
Seyi Shay, Yemi Alade, MI, Colette Otusesan and Naeto C at the unveiling of MAMA 2015 in Lagos.

Seyi Shay, Yemi Alade, MI, Colette Otusesan and Naeto C at the unveiling of MAMA 2015 in Lagos.

For a city like Durban, which is gradually gaining popularity as the entertainment and tourism capital of Africa, the recent xenophobic violence was indeed an unfortunate incident.

As the host city for the yearly Indaba, one of the largest tourism marketing events on the African calendar, and having hosted major gigs such as the MAMA award and MTV Africa All Stars Concert, which paraded both African and international stars such as Snoop Lion, that ugly incident, would have been a major setback to the efforts by the Kwazulu-Natal province to position the city as a haven for tourists, had South Africans not risen against the callous act.

Aside from president Jacob Zuma, who condemned the violence and called for calm to be restored, blacks, whites, Indians, and foreigners staged a Peace March on the streets of Durban in solidarity against deadly xenophobic violence. In Johannesburg, about 30,000 people took part in another march to demand an end to a recent wave of xenophobic attacks. Both locals and immigrants joined the protest with placards saying, ‘Africa Unite’ and ‘Welcome foreigners.’ An anti-xenophobic protest also took place in the coastal city of Port Elizabeth.

Musicians were not left out in the campaign against xenophobia, as 180 artistes from seven African countries (Cameroon, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania and Zimbabwe) came together to sing We Are The World. Produced under Africa Against Ebola and Xenophobia platform, the rendition featured Nigeria’s Harrysong, Iyanya, Praiz, Tiwa Savage, Emma Nyra, D’Prince, Reekado Banks, Di’Ja, Victor Pedro, Yemi Alade, Banky W, Sean Tizzle, Emmy Gee, Patoranking, Kcee, Iceberg, Dr Sid, Don Jazzy and Mosa. From South Africa are Thembisile Ntaka, Kurt Darren, Elvis Blue, Sfiso Ncwane, Pastor Jabu Hlongwane, MXO, Thandiswa Mazwai, Donald, Khaya Mthethwa, Dr Sid, Mosa, Steve Kekana, Ziyon, RazorKutt, Moneoa, Kelly Khumalo, PJ Powers, Danny K, Lloyd Cele, Mathew Gold, Loyiso, Zamo and RJ Benjamin, as well as the groups Mafikizolo, Mahotella Queens and Joyous Celebration.

Gigi LaMayne, Melly Mel, GPB, LyM-C, Thaiwanda and Thailand joined the production from Zimbabwe, alongside Wax Dey from Cameroon, Liz Ogumbo from Kenya, Gabriela and Lizha James from Mozambique and Diamond from Tanzania, all singing for peace and tolerance in the continent.

However, with the recent unveiling of Durban as the host city for this year’s MTV Africa Music Awards (MAMA) billed for July 18, 2015, it seems Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN) Africa, MTV Base, Kwazulu-Natal Province and their partners have worked out a perfect plan to reunite Africa on the platform of music and entertainment.

Durban is a natural paradise known for its gorgeous coastline of sun-kissed beaches and subtropical climate, situated on the eastern seaboard of Africa. The city focuses on providing visitors with a unique set of experiences that go beyond the beach and into the realm of Durban’s diverse culture, urban lifestyle and scenic diversity.

The definitive yearly celebration of African talent, MAMA 2015 takes evolution as its theme, recognising and rewarding musicians and achievers, who have made the most impact on African youth culture over the last 12 months, while also celebrating the development of the continent’s talent and creativity over the last 10 years. The ceremony will feature stunning performances from African and international artistes along with unique collaborations.

Holding at the Durban International Convention Centre (ICC), KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, the ceremony will celebrate African talent across 17 award categories such as Best Male, Best Female, Best Song and Best New Act Transformed by Absolut.

The contribution of artistes from Portuguese and French-speaking Africa will also be recognised in the Best Lusophone and Best Francophone categories.

In line with the MAMA 2015 theme and VIMN Africa’s 10-year celebration, this year’s show will also feature a special edition Artist of the Decade category to recognise artistes, whose careers have flourished throughout the last 10 years. Additional categories in clude the MAMA Leadership Award and Personality of the Year. The nominations for the awards will be revealed on 11 June 2015.

Speaking on the project, Senior Vice President & Managing Director, Viacom International Media Networks Africa Alex Okosi said, “we are thrilled that the MTV Africa Music Awards will be returning to Durban and KwaZulu-Natal on 18 July, a date famous for being the birthday of Nelson Mandela – what better day could there be for staging this inspirational celebration of African achievement and creativity that showcases Africa’s best talent on the world stage.”

After the major success of the MAMA in Durban last year, we are delighted to welcome back MTV Base and the MAMA awards to KwaZulu-Natal this July. By attracting ground-breaking events like the MAMA to KwaZulu-Natal and Durban, we continue to make a significant contribution to economic growth and tourism in the region.”

On his part, Head of Durban Tourism, Phillip Sithole said it is a tremendous honour for The City of Durban to be host city once again for the much anticipated MTV Africa Music Awards.

“The MAMA is a celebration of Africa’s award winning musical achievements and we are privileged to have this prestigious gathering in The City of Durban. We look forward to an unforgettable event in Durban and may the MAMA continue to be the best platform to bring Africa together on our shores and allow our continent to enjoy the unique flavours of Destination Durban.”

According to Marketing Director, Pernod Ricard Nigeria, Sola Oke said, “we are once again proud to be part of a pan-African music celebration such as the MAMA. The partnership allows us to once again connect with our target consumers whilst utilizing the MAMA platform with our Africa is Absolut campaign, to be instrumental in helping transform artists’ lives by driving support for the nominees of the Best New Act Transformed by Absolut and showcasing their talent to all of sub-Saharan Africa.”

Celebrating the pan-African scope of the MAMA, the awards will encompass three stunning surround events featuring MAMA nominees and superstar DJs to be held in Durban (27 June), Lagos (3 July) & Kenya (1 August). Another key element of MAMA 2015 will be a workshop for aspiring musicians in the week prior to the awards.

First staged in 2008, the MTV Africa Music Awards has recognised the talent of musicians, achievers and personalities from across Africa, rewarding iconic artists and gamechangers such as 2Face Idibia, Big Nuz, Davido, D’Banj, Flavour, Gangs of Ballet, HHP, Fally Ipupa, Liquideep, Mafikizolo, Lira, Nameless, Lupita Nyong’o, Clarence Peters, Diamond Platnumz, Anselmo Ralph, Sarkodie, P-Square, Tiwa Savage, Cabo Snoop, Toofan, Zebra & Giraffe, Uhuru, Wahu, and others.