Lack of equality in recognising Black music birthed MOBO, says founder, Kanya King
Ahead of the the MOBO ( Music Of Black Origin) Awards which is set to hold virtually and live-streamed exclusively on YouTube at 7.00PM GMT on December 9, 2020 the Founder, Kanya King speaks on the vision and mission behind the creation of the award which is UK’s biggest celebration of Black music and culture.
According to her, “MOBO was set up 25 years ago to address the injustice and lack of equality in regard to recognising Black music. The aim was to create a platform and space for UK and international talents where they would have access to opportunities, recognition for their achievements and a more mainstream TV profile.”
She added that the award was created with a view not only to recognise and honour talents but to also champion positive courses in the interest of the Black race.
“At its core, MOBO is a Movement of Black Opportunity. I highly rate our commitment, drive, passion and overwhelming determination to ensure that disadvantaged talent is given a platform to shine and reach their full potential.
“Not only have we celebrated the biggest and most dynamic talents in the world, but we have consistently championed and funded exceptional talents with an entrepreneurial spirit, giving them the potential to achieve national and international success.
“MOBO is about more than the awards. We use our platform to raise awareness for all kinds of social challenges. For example, we worked closely with the National Health Service to encourage citizens of Black and Asian descent to give blood and save lives because there was a shortage. MOBO facilitated a collaboration with MOBO Award winner Lady Leshurr, who wrote and performed in a star-studded video featuring household names, asking young people to register and donate blood. The campaign subsequently saw a phenomenal rise in donors,” she said.
Talking about MOBO’s interest in African music, she averred that the continent is the only one that has a dedicated award category and the opportunity to compete at large in the Best International Act category.
“MOBO has been supporting African talent since 2006 and Africa is the only continent that has a dedicated category. The only other non-UK focused categories are ‘Best International Act’ which covers talent across the globe and ‘Best Reggae Act’ which is a genre where again, any act making this music can be considered. We all remember Wizkid winning ‘Best International Act’ in 2017 and Davido winning ‘Best African Act’. These were both wonderful examples of African artists being recognised by the MOBO audience as the best in their territory and the best in the world,” she said.
“African music is so diverse and vibrant. The widespread influence it’s had on contemporary music culture in the last few years is evidence of its value within the worldwide music scene. Already, it is steadily competing with the rest of the world. Greater support, recognition and most importantly, compensation for the art is what will truly push African music to the next level,” she added
On what to expect on December 9, 2020 when the awards take the centrestage in the entertainment sphere and become the cynosure of all eyes and attention, Kayan King said she would not want to give away so much.
“I can’t give too much away but you’ll be positively surprised by the attention being given to African music this year. We have very special performances from Tiwa Savage and Davido and a nominations list for the ‘Best African Act’ category that is filled with some amazing talents. So, please make sure you tune in to our Youtube channel on Wednesday 9th December, 7:00pm (GMT).
The award is set to hold virtually and live-streamed exclusively on YouTube at 7.00PM GMT and all attention in Africa will be drawn to the Best African Act category.
Seven Nigerian music stars, namely; Tiwa Savage, Burna Boy, Davido, Fireboy DML, Adekunle Gold, Rema and Wizkid will be warring it out with their African counterparts, in the persons of Master KG, NSG, Afro B, Stonebwoy and Shattawale for the coveted crown.