Zambia: 'Zambian Music Awards a Sham'

A SIZEABLE number of Zambian musicians, producers and managers on Thursday afternoon diluted the impending National Arts Council of Zambia (NAC) and Zambian Breweries' Zambian Music Awards, describing them as flawed and an insult to the industry.

Speaking through Mampi, who apparently has been nominated to receive an accolade in the same awards, the artistes said the outcome of the nominations did not reflect a national musical industry award that is fair, professional and ethical.

"We do truly appreciate and are thankful for this great initiative and for the effort applied thus far by all the contributors including government through NAC and Zambian breweries but unfortunately, the whole process lacks merit," Mampi said.

She gave examples that included herself being nominated in a wrong category of dancehall, unreleased albums being on the best album category, the omission of radio 4 and Radio phoenix DJs on the 'best radio DJ's category and unfair pairing of old works and upcoming artistes in the same category.

Mampi also raised the issue of the electoral college and adjudication, which is seemingly uncovered to them in a single sentence question:

"Who is voting and or adjudicating?"

Other misplacements included the omission of B1 with his popular songs from the category of the 'popular songs', leaving out of influential song writer Chali Mulalami on the 'influential song writers' category,' and omission of the legendary Paul Ngozi, PK Chishala, Ackim Simukonda and Rogers Sombe on the 'lifetime achievement' awards.

The artistes, however, said they did recognise that not all artistes could be nominated in a single award just like not everyone could win but that what had happened in the nomination of the 2013 Zambian Music Awards gave an impression that the awards voting system was flawed.

The artistes that were led by veteran musician Brian 'Shakarongo' Chengala said the most important technical aspects of the nomination and voting system were overlooked, hence the inaccurate results being apparent.

The artistes felt that the perfect balance between chance, merit and popularity had not been achieved.

They have since asked the Government, through NAC and Zambian Breweries, to stop and seek advice from local and even foreign experts in various fields to revaluate and re-engineer the Zambian Music Awards so as to achieve fair and worthy awards.

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