As we all know, for quite some time now Uganda has not been organizing awards at a National level. Our musicians have greatly been dependent on the likes of MAMAs, AFRIMAs and to a smaller extent some local awards like hipipo, Zzina and maybe the Buzz teenz awards.
So far, there’s nothing that can be compared to the defunct Pearl of Africa Music Awards which were commonly known as the PAM awards. These were very much respected and meaningful until bribery happened (UG artists paying to win top categories in which they were nominated) among other issues.
At one point the nation was so excited to host the MAMA awards (MTV Africa Music Awards). These were a great deal because they feature many African countries and it was good publicity for Uganda and very talented artists but then the Robert Kyagulanyi issues happened and awards could not be hosted in our country even after all the tours given to foreign artists by the then tourism minister (Mr. Geoffrey Kiwanda).
Musicians and creative arts members formed associations and started benchmarking some money for fellow members. This became impossible because they are too many for even us the fans (we honestly don’t know most of them) but the good people in Government like General Salim Saleh and his team members opted for something that would generally benefit them all.
Finally the introduction of the JANZI Awards happened with the aim of recognizing Ugandans cultural, creative and performing arts. The event was held on 11th and 12th December, 2021 at Kololo Independence Grounds.
The organizing committee comprised respected legends like Okello Okello, Ragga Dee, Sylvia Awori and many others and one would surely think that they would nail the event only to turn into a total disaster, Oh My God.
Fan bases went all in to vote for their favorite only to be shocked when most of the winners are those who fronted the Gulu battle line (it was a sure win for all artists who went to Gulu during the negotiating period in whatever category).
An artist (Gerald Kiweewa) fought a fellow artist (name unknown) while performing on stage with his Banansi group in front of hundreds of people , good enough security did its job. We definitely dont condone this type of violence, Uganda is a peaceful country.
Other artists like Spice Diana took their ranting on social media to express their dissatisfaction.
Congratulations to whoever won an award deservingly and those who bribed no words.
Ugandan artists please and please your are better than this, behave.
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