Tuesday, December 14, 2010


Renowned as Africa’s biggest music award, the MTV Africa Music Award (MAMA) which held in Lagos recently, lived up to its hype.
On December 11, 2010, the New Expo Hall of the Eko Hotels and Suites, Lagos, witnessed a spectacular transformation like never before when it hosted the third edition of the MTV Africa Music Awards, otherwise known as MAMA. And with the high level of efficiency and deft organization on display, the organizers seemingly gave their Nigerian counterparts an intensive study lesson in sound arrangements, choreography, stage craft and lightning, choreography and camera works. Most importantly, MAMA lived up to its reputation as Africa’s biggest music award with its excellent organization.

Probably the most visible lapse was the delayed start of the event, which started one hour late. When the night eventually opened up, it was worth the wait; with an explosive performance by US hip hop superstar Rick Ross, which got the crowd caught up in musical rapture. US hip hop diva and actress Eve didn’t help matters when she later made a spectacular entrance onto the stage as the host. Later, she also performed alongside Sasha and other African acts. MAMA’s Pan-African nature was also in full display. The collaborations among African artistes and the infusion of different styles of music from around the continent were major highlights; from Nigeria’s Tuface Idibia’s afro Hip Hop fusion with the sound of South Africa’s rock band Parlotones, to Fally Ipupa’s Congolese dance moves and the up tempo beat of South Africa’s Jozi. The other memorable performance was the scintillating ‘African remix’ of Banky W’s Lagos Party which featured Barbara Kanam from DRC, Carbo Snoop and Paul G (from Angola), as well as South Africa’s trio Big Nuz. Another highlight was when Nollywood diva Genevieve Nnaji and music superstar Dbanj came on stage to present one of the awards, only to stoke the fires of their rumoured love affair.

However, Africa’s biggest music award night belonged to Tuface and Fally Ipupa, who carted home two trophies each. Tuface won for Best Male and Artiste of the Year, while Fally won Best Francophone Act and Best Video for Sexy Dance. 20-year-old Mo Cheddah became one of the youngest winner of a MAMA when she picked up the trophy for Brand:New, a category which recognizes rising stars tipped by MTV for success. Considering Mo Cheddah’s vocal intelligence, very few would disagree with that assertion. Sasha emerged the Best Female in a category that included 2009 MOBO Award winner Nneka while P Square picked up their third consecutive trophy for Best Group. Cabo Snoop became Angola’s first MAMA winner as he emerged the Best Lusophone act, while Kenyan Gospel artist Daddy Owen won the inaugural Best Anglophone award and also became the first gospel artiste to ever win a MAMA. It was two for South Africa as the South African pop/R & B group Liquideep won the Song of the Year category for their enchanting 'Fairytale'. Big Nuz went home with the newly introduced Best Performance award. The prestigious Best International act was won by Eminem who accepted the award via satellite from the USA.  The MAMA Legend award, won by the late South African songstress Miriam Makeba, was presented by Public Enemy founder and hip hop pioneer Chuck D. Guest presenters and celebrity guests included Nneka, Daniel Amokachi, Oluchi, Julius Agwu, Genevieve Nnaji, Ba Ponga, Dama do Bling, and fashion designer Lisa Foluniyo. 

The 2010 edition closed with a memorable performance by US Hip Hop star T-Pain and the rendition of ‘Win’ featuring T-Pain, Rick Ross, Da LES and Tuface. When other artistes came on to join them on the stage, the crowd made their own curtain call by chanting the names of both Rick Ross and T-Pain. The 2010 edition of the MTV Africa Music Award was sponsored by Airtel in association with MasterCard.  Other partners supported the event include Arik Air and the Lagos State Government. “Tonight’s MTV Africa Music Awards with Airtel was a joyful and uplifting celebration of African youth culture and music. It brought together the best talent from across Africa to showcase the incredible music that Africa has to offer to the world,” noted Alex Okosi, Senior Vice President & Managing Director, MTV Networks Africa.

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