KAMPALA — MTV Base has postponed the 2021 MTV Africa Music Awards that had been scheduled for February 20, in Kampala, Uganda.
Government of Uganda through Uganda Tourism Board-UTB, had entered a partnership with MTV to have the awards held in Kampala as a way to help promote and restart tourism in the country, four years after the show went on a sabbatical.
In a tweet on Thursday evening, the event organizer’s without giving any reasons said the event had been postponed but promised to keep her fans updated.
“MTV Base is postponing the 2021 MTV Africa Music Awards,” a tweet from MTV Base Africa read.
The Tv giant had recently announced Grammy Award-winning global sensation, DJ Khaled, as international host for the MTV Africa Music Awards 2021 that were due to be hosted virtually. The highly anticipated awards show that was meant to be hosted by Uganda and aired globally in 180 countries, has however been condemned with critics citing ‘human rights violations and alleged rigging’ in the just concluded Ugandan presidential elections.
DJ Khaled, who had prior tweeted saying that, with the great music that comes out of Africa, he couldn’t resist the opportunity especially when MTV is a great partner of MAMA’s.
He, however without explaining, went ahead and brought down some of his tweets which some critics say was as a result of their push to have the awards cancelled.
Founding Director at Vanguard Africa, Jeffrey Smith has particularly been vocal in calling for the boycott of the Mama Awards, recently said that now was not the time to visit Uganda.
“This month @MTVBaseAfrica will hold an award show in partnership with Uganda’s government, a country ruled by an autocrat in power for 35 years and reeling from a rigged, deadly election,” Jeffrey Smith tweeted recently, adding that, “Now isn’t the time to celebrate or #VisitUganda.”
“By holding a global award show in partnership with Uganda’s dictatorship, @MTVBaseAfrica “will not only be lending itself to whitewashing the regime’s crimes, but also implicate all nominated artists,” he said in another tweet.
Relatedly, Mr. Robert Amsterdam of Amsterdam & Partners LLP who has represented Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu alias Bobi Wine has since August 2018, asked African artists to boycott the MTV Base, that was due to have the award event hosted in Uganda.
“Iam asking all my friends in South Sudan, Nigeria, Cameroon, Tanzania, Zambia, Ghana, South Africa and Kenya to speak to MTV about the necessity of a boycott of any show in Uganda that lends legitimacy to Museveni at this time.” Amsterdam tweeted.
Africa Tembelea has however, since learnt that the event that was meant to feature 20 award categories, including best song, best collaboration, best female, best male, and the MAMA Generation Change Award will most likely take play in May this year.
Among the new honors expected if the event is held this year include one for the Alone Together Best Lockdown Performance, Best Fan Base, and Personality of the Year, which are meant to “recognize outstanding personalities that have been at the forefront of culture on the continent during the year and include non-music stars” from the worlds of sports, celebrity, and industry.