Blantyre — The 2017 Urban Music Party (UMP) Awards Festival will this year be held as a stand-alone event and will for the first time be held in the capital city Lilongwe.
Since its inception, the UMP Awards have been held in Blantyre as part of the celebrated urban music gathering of Malawi's urban artists and fans.
According to a press statement issued on Monday, the organizing team led by the event's producers Nde'feyo Entertainment has decided to unbundle the awards from the main festival to be a stand-alone event. This follows the tremendous growth and support the awards have achieved in the past two years.
Following the change, the awards will be held as an Evening Red Carpet event between November and December with additional four extra categories of Best Live Act; Best Duo/Group; Best Collaboration and Best SADC Act to the previous 13, making it 17 categories in total.
The maintained 13 old categories are: Best Rap/Hip-Hop Act, Best Reggae/Dance-hall Act, Best R&B/Afro-Pop Act, Best Gospel Act, Best Female Act, Best New Artist, Song of the Year, Album of the Year, Music Video of the Year, Video Director of the Year, Producer of the Year, Artist of the Year and Lifetime Achievement.
"UMP Awards celebrates and promotes excellence in Malawi's urban music industry; it is therefore our goal to have it as a stand-alone event. We feel the UMP Awards have grown with new categories being added each year. And this year it will be a glamorous and a must-attend red carpet event," comments Ken Zizwa Limwame, one of the event executive producers in a statement.
The awards are organized and were founded by Ndefeyo Entertainment who, each year assemble an organizing team. The awards involve independent judges and the public in the selection of winners.
"We are grateful of the support rendered thus far. The public's support has been firm through the years and this has made us to reconsider the future direction of the awards with consideration of its quality and authenticity," Limwame added.
Last year's UMP festival were held at the BAT Ground in the commercial city of Blantyre on November 6 in an event headlined by Gemini Major and Pop Dogg, based in South Africa and Ireland, respectively.
UMP Festival is a celebration of Malawi's urban music, lifestyle and culture. The UMP Awards is a ceremony that recognizes Malawi's exceptional urban music talent.