If only the 2012 Channel O Music Video Awards was a cute name for a marathon...but unfortunately, its not. This year's fete left a bitter taste in the mouths of several Kenyans who attended, after hopes that at least one of the several nominations would result in an award came to naught.
Kenyan and East African musicians unsure about their own fortunes crossed their fingers at least for the insanely popular Camp Mulla to carry their flag high, but that came crashing down in stunned silence, when their name did not feature even once on the black envelopes that kept being opened.
Kenyans could only lay claim to an award through Sauti Sol, whose collaboration with Tanzanian rapper AY was feted as East Africa's most gifted video, and the bespectacled man was given a gong to seal the deal.
AY was the only East African who got a taste of the action on stage, well apart from Camp Mulla who performed Fresh All Day and Party Don't Stop to screaming fans at the Channel O Dome and millions watching via television.
The #CHOMVA12 went down at the Walter Sisulu Square in South Western Township aka Soweto on Saturday night. The electric energy and vibe of the area transported itself on stage easily enough, shaking the air into life and the performances kept it alive.
Artists kept the red carpet buzzing with hopes of coming out on top, but only a handful were rejoicing after the two-hour event.
The biggest winners were Kokomaster aka Sonko aka DJ Banj, South African veteran DJ Cleo, Nigerian newcomer Davido and the man of the event Oskido.
The biggest losers, in my opinion, were South African rapper Khuli Chana and Kenyan group Camp Mulla, who had to make do with gratifying performances on stage rather than the awards, despite a strong presence on the nominations front.
"It's all about the votes," Leslie Kasumba, Channel O's African Manager, defended. "Those who won had their fans voting for them."
"What we encouraged artistes to do this year is start early, telling their fans to vote for them to win the awards. A lot of them were distracted by the MOBO awards, but those who were focused on the voting message won the prize. I think that was the case for a lot of the artistes who didn't win, even Nigerian favourite Wizkid. That's what happened," she explained.
East African artistes however feel that another strategy should be employed.
"I was always on social media, telling fans to vote, but I did not win," stated Ugandan RnB singer Maurice Kirya.
"The Kenyans on social media really voted and there were confirmation messages everywhere, saying that so and so has voted. I saw that this year more than any year. If that's not enough, then I don't know what is," added Kenyan dancehall star Wyre.
Wyre has had numerous nominations over the years, and is one of the few Kenyans to have ever touched the award when he was in the EA Reggae Bashment Crew, Necessary Noise.
But whether or not the winning list was pleasant, the performances made up for any doubt that Channel O knows how to put on a good show.
Davido, Oskido, Khuli Chana, and DJ Zinhle featuring Busiswa far outshone the Kokomaster who headlined the performance but the favourite of the evening by far was South African kwaito madman Dr Malinga; he coupled energetic kicks with comical ballet prances and provided just enough zest to keep the event etched in the audience's minds.
Here below is the full list of winners:
D'Banj won the award for Most Gifted Male Video, and Video of the Year; both for 'Oliver Twist'.
Zahara scooped up the Most Gifted Female Video for her song "Loliwe".
Most Gifted Newcomer went to Nigeria's Davido for "Dami Duro".
Tanzania's AY ft Sauti Sol's "I Don't Want to Be Alone" won the Most Gifted African East award.
P Square won (in absentia) the Most Gifted Duo Video for "Chop My Money".
South Africa's DJ Cleo won Most Gifted Dance Video for his massive hit "Facebook".
Buffalo Souljah's "Styra Inonyengesa" beat Wyre in the Most Gifted Ragga Dancehall Video category.
Nigeria's Brymo took it home with Most Gifted Afro Pop Video for "Ara".
Most Gifted Kwaito Video went to EES featuring Mandoza's "Ayoba".
A remix of "Oyi" by Flavour featuring Tiwa Savage took home this year's Most Gifted R&B Video Award.
The Most Gifted Hip Hop Video was awarded to Ice Prince for "Superstar".
Cashtime Fam's "Shut It Down (Stundee)" won Most Gifted South Video.
Ghana and Nigeria's D-Black ft Mo Cheddah's "Falling" was named Most Gifted African West Video.
And SA's Oskido was named as this year's Special Recognition recipient.
As far as hosts go, Bonang is a very special talent. Ice Prince on the other did good to focus on his energy because he was often inaudible.