Again, artistes of Nigerian origin grab multiple nominations at the continental music awards, Channel O African Music Video Awards.
For the second year running, top Nigerian artistes, at home and in the Diaspora, are set for honours at the Channel O African Music Video Awards. With six nominations, Nigeria grabs the highest number of nominees musicians of the 77 different nominated artists in the awards' 21 categories.
Nigerian music stars nominated for coveted awards include the "African Queen" crooner, 2 Face Idibia, who grabbed two nominations for Best Male Video and Best African West; David Mel, nominated for Best Gospel for "More than What..."; South Africa-based Jazz sensation, Kunle is in contention for the Best Jazz Video for "Slowly", while Abuja-based trio, Style-Plus with the hit, "Call my Name" struggle with four other contenders from the rest of Africa in the Best R&B Video category.
Past winners, Tony Tetuila and Asu Ekiye appear set to re-enact their feat at the maiden edition of the awards as the grabbed nominations too. Tony Tetuila, who got Best African Pop/Rock for "My Car" last year is again contending for honours in the Best African West while Asu Ekiye, who ran away with the first ever Channel O Awards' Best African Gospel for "Woekilemo" from the album Back 2 Base at the maiden edition of the awards in 2003 is back to the trenches in the same category with "Yemi Yemo" from his recently launched album, Back 2 Base II.
In the Best Male Video category, TuFace, who is nominated for his hit "African Queen" will be slugging it out with Zola for "Don't Cry", Mandoza for "Indoda", Mzekezeke for "Ezisnaks", and Stewart for "Mozambique". The musician will also do battle with compatriot Tony Tetuila, who is nominated for "E Go Beta", for the Best African West award alongside, Reggie Rockstone for "Ah", Tinny for "Dzormo" and Kwadee for "Efie Nipa".
Two Nigerians are also slugging it out with others in the Best Gospel category. David Mel for "More than What..." and Asu Ekiye for "Yemi Yemo" are contending with Brother J (Shine Shine Bobo), Kholeka (Sikwenza Mkhulu), Rebecca Malope (Hamba Juba) for the coveted gospel prize.
Other leading African musicians nominated include South Africa's Thandiswa Mazwai who leads with four nominations - Best Female Video, Best African Southern, Best Director, and Video Of The Year all for "Lal' Umlenze"; Arno Carstens with three nominations - Best African Rock for "Another Universe", Best Director for "Another Universe", and Best Collaboration Video for "Rebel Girl" featuring Mxo and Tumi; Mxo with two nominations - Best Newcomer for "Zandi's Bone", Best Collaboration Video for "Rebel Girl"; Arthur - Best Choreography for "Dladla DJ"; Kabelo with three nominations as follows: Best Movie/TV Soundtrack Video for "Amasoja" featuring Mzekezeke and Brown Dash; and Tamara Dey was nominated for Best Female Video for "Groovy Baby".
Kenya's GidiGidi MajiMaji contends with other East Africans in the Best African East category for "Many Faces" while Rufftone was nominated for Best Reggae Video "Mwikulu".
Other nominees includes Angola's O2, SSP, Warrant B & Patrícia Faria; Ghana's VIP, Reggie Rockstone, Tinny & Kwadee and; Tanzania's Ray C & Jay Dee. There were also Zimbabwe's Oliver Mtukudzi and Mozambique's Stewart on the nomination list.
Meanwhile, the late African Madonna, Brenda Fassie grabbed a posthumous nomination in Best Movie/TV Soundtrack Video for "Yizo Yizo".
While South African star Thandiswa Mazwai leads the pack of individual nominees with four nominations, Tanzanian Renee Lamira and Nkalakatha star Mandoza are tied for second with three nominations each.
Meanwhile, Jazz legend Hugh Masekela is set be receive a special award for his contribution in developing a drug rehabilitation program for musicians.
Now in its second year, the Channel O AMVAs are unique in that videos are nominated and voted for by viewers, giving fans complete control over who receives an award. Unlike most award shows where a panel of judges choose the winners, the Channel O AMVAs winners are decided on by Channel O viewers.
Segun Fayose MultiChoice Nigeria's PR/Publicity Officer announced that voting has commenced since February 17. Viewers across the continent have till midnight, March 30 to vote for winners of their choice in the 23 categories. Voting can take place via telephone, SMS to +27 (0)83 920 8400 and on the Channel O website - www.channelo.co.za. To vote via SMS, enter the category name, a space and then the artist's name. The number for SMS voting is also +27 (0) 83 920 8400 or call +27 (0)83 920 8400 and follow the voice prompts to register a vote for their favourite artist in a particular category. Votes are charged at international call rates.
Even the nomination process was conducted completely in the public sphere. A call was put out on the Channel O website for viewers to recommend videos which should be included in the nominee list. Channel O management then created a shortlist.
Criteria used for short-listing were technical quality of the video and frequency of requests for a video on the different Channel O shows to measure popularity of the video. The videos need to have been produced between October 2003 and December 2004 and should have received airplay on Channel O. This exercise produced the final five nominees per category.
Channel O General Manager, Ayanda Tshabalala is sure that the nominations reflect the opinions of the channel's loyal viewers.
"We wanted to make sure that the public have their say", he says. "The 2005 AMVA's reflect the incredible diversity of African music, and also illustrate the trans-continental popularity of many of these artists. Channel O is proud to be promoting African music".
Tshabalala added that "We hope the Channel O African Music Video Awards will go a long way in creating a climate where music videos can attain world-class standards. In addition, we would like the awards ceremony to stand out as the hippest music awards show in Africa."
As stated earlier, the Channel O African Music Video Awards stand out from anything else in the continent in that the awards are specific to music videos and are purely viewer's choice awards. THISDAY checks revealed that the qualifying music videos on this year's nomination list were produced between October 2003 and December 2004; and have all been enjoying airplay on Channel O.
A revealed by MultiChoice Nigeria's spokesperson, Segun Fayose, Channel O already plan a vibrant and colourful line up schedule for the Awards. Artists from all over Africa, including the host country South Africa are billed to perform at the event.
The Awards show itself will be held at the Civic Theater in Johannesburg on March 31. The event will be recorded 'live' and broadcast on Channel O on 2 April at 19:00 CAT.