MTV’s MAMA awards postponed after pressure in Uganda


MTV Africa special, the MTV Africa Music Awards (MAMA) due to take place in Uganda on February 20, have been postponed.

The postponement came after an online campaign was launched over allegations of human rights abuses by the government of President Yoweri Museveni.

MTV Africa and MTV Base made the announcement in November via a virtual conference broadcast from Johannesburg, South Africa, marking the return of the continental awards show which celebrates the achievements in African music and culture. 

The awards show was supposed to feature a number of Africa’s biggest and rising artists in cross-border and cross-genre celebrations broadcasted on MTV Base music channel (Dstv channel 322), MTV (Dstv channel 130), as well as a repeat show on BET Africa.

The 2021 edition of the MAMAs was also scheduled include four new categories for award winners – Best Fan Base, Alone Together Best Lock-down Performance, Personality of the Year and MAMA Generational Change Award. 

The MAMAs were first held in 2008, in Nigeria’s capital of Abuja, and has recognised the talents of African artists across Africa and the international diaspora. 

Many global MAMA recipients have included 2Face Idiba, Tiwa Savage, Wizkid, Diamond Platinumz, AKA, Davido, Yemi Alade, Trevor Noah, Mafikizolo, HHP, Gangs of Ballet, Lupita Nyong’o, D’Banj, Cassper Nyovest and P-Square.

Nigerian artist D’Banj in 2008, winning the MAMA for Artist of the Year. Picture: Supplied

The Ugandan State Minister for Tourism, Godfrey Kiwanda commented, “It is an incredible achievement for Uganda to host the continent and International stakeholders for the MAMA Kampala 2021 for the first time”. 

“The awards are an extraordinary African cultural experience, and we understand the important role it plays in driving awareness, cross culture education and profiling the continent’s rich leisure tourism offerings on the international stage”, Kiwanda said. 

In a build-up to the awards show, MTV Base and MAMA Kampala 2021 will be hosting virtual music industry workshops for the continent’s aspiring musicians, as well as a broadcast feature ‘Road to MAMAs’ which will feature 2021 MAMA nominees. 

All nominees for the MTV Base Africa Music Awards have yet to be announced. 



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