The New Times (Kigali)

23 January 2013

Rwanda: Salax Organisers Should Treat Artistes With Respect ? Uncle Austin

Uncle Austin has fired back to a warning that was released by Ikirezi Group, the organisers of Salax Awards to "rebel" musicians. According to an Ikirezi Group statement, "they will never be nominated in this competition or take part in future events".

"I am not afraid of Salax Awards organisers," said the radio presenter cum musician in a telephone interview with The New Times.

"Those guys at Ikirezi Group still think that we are still in the old days when they controlled every one like their children. Salax Awards were started by Radio Salus in Huye with good intentions of recognising local musicians. Like Radio Salus, KFM can also start their own awards and I don't think people would be forced to take part," he continued.

Asked why he didn't express his concern in an official letter like the organisers had wished, Uncle Austin explained, "They didn't write a letter to me when they put me on that nomination list and I don't think it's necessary to write to them explaining why I left their Awards."

Uncle Austin was nominated in the Best Afro Beat category.

Prominent musicians such as Alpha, The Ben, Kitoko and Tom Close have reportedly shunned the Awards. The latter wrote to the Salax Awards organisers explaining he had pulled out due to both professional and personal reasons. The others have reportedly not written to the organisers officially.

This year's event is slated for March9, at the Kigali Serena Hotel.

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