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MTV Africa Music Awards to be held in Durban

After four years of silence, the fourth MTV Africa Music Awards will be in Durban on Saturday, 7 June 2014 at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli Convention Centre. 

The awards were announced at a press conference, where Alex Okosi (MD of Viacom Africa) alongside Desmond Golding (HOD of Dept of Economic Development and Tourism) and Conor McQuaid( Absolut vodka) broke the news to journalists at the SKY Venue at Southern Sun Maharani. 

Golding, Okosi and McQuaid (picture via @kuliroberts)
The awards are being held for the first time since 2010. They were launched in 2008 and due to the "economic downturn" the awards were discontinued. Until today. And for the first time, they will be going out live on MTV Base on the 7th June.  There will also be a special "Road to the MAMA's" TV show on MTV Base leading up to the awards. 

Artists present at the press conference included Da Les, DJs Tira and Black Coffee, Christie from The Arrows, Flavour, and Mi Casa. Zakes Bantwini was spotted, but had to leave early. 

Artists present with Tim Horwood (left) Picture: @MTVBaseAfrica
Desmond Golding from the KZN Depart of Economic Development and Tourism said that he wants Durban to be the home of major events. "Last year our slogan was "KZN Rocks" now it's 'We continue to rise'. Our aim is to make Durban a major player when it comes to hosting global events."

He added that the awards are once again another opportunity to showcase the beauty of Durban and KZN as a whole. "We hope that these awards will also help our artists, especially when it comes to skill transfers. We did it with the Africa All Stars last year when we brought all the major African stars and Snoop Lion and we will do it again. We want African musicians to feed off each other and that will lead to growth in the African music industry as a whole."

Tim Horwood, MTV Base channel director said that the MTV MAMA's are all about the artists. "It's all about showing the best of African artists to the world. It's all about the music that Africa is giving to the world and when we started MTV Base in 2005, no one was showcasing African music to the world. So the MAMA's are back and will fully showcase just how great the continent's music is." 

Artists eligible for entry will have to have had new music/videos playlisted and screened on MTV and MTV Base channels from 20 March 2013 to 19 March 2014. 

Durban has been a popular place for awards ceremony lately. In the past three weeks, it has hosted the 13th Metro FM Music Awards, the 1st Royalty Soapie Awards and now the 4th MTV Africa Music Awards in June. 

There will be thirteen award categories; with three new lifestyle/special awards (“MAMA Leadership Award” and “Personality of the Year”.  A special award, “Transform Today by Absolut) being added to the original categories. 

Here are the categories that artists stand to be nominated in:

Artist of the Year
Best Male
Best Female
Best Group
Best Video
Song of the Year
Best Anglophone
Best Francophone
Best Lusophone
Best International
MAMA Legend
Best Performance

The nominees will be announced on 16 April 2014.

Here are other comments from the MTV Mama head honchos and sponsors: 

Commented Alex Okosi, Senior Vice President & Managing Director, Viacom International Media Networks Africa, “We are thrilled that the MTV Africa Music Awards KwaZulu-Natal will be taking place in South Africa for the first time in its new evolution. KwaZulu-Natal Province is rich in both infrastructure and amazing sights, and we are excited that Durban will be the backdrop for showcasing Africa’s best talent to the world.”

Commented Desmond GoldingHead of Department of Economic Development & Tourism, KwaZulu-Natal Province, “After the major success of the MTV Africa All Stars event in Durban last year we are delighted to welcome MTV Base and the MAMAawards to KwaZulu-Natal this June. KwaZulu-Natal including Durban is the premier home for major events in South Africa. Our success and reputation in staging these ground-breaking events has ensured that the contribution to economic growth and tourism stimulation continues to be ever on the rise.”

Conor McQuaid, Managing Director, Pernod Ricard South Africa, commented: “Each generation there are a handful of artists who leave a transformative mark, and the MTV Africa Music Awards most certainly celebrates those artists who are at the cutting-edge of the thriving music industry here on the African continent. As a brand Absolut has continuously pushed the boundaries of contemporary culture through creative collaborations with artists such as Andy Warhol, Spike Jonze and Swedish House Mafia. So we are thrilled to be associated with these awards that celebrate artists who define and transform the musical zeitgeist of Africa.”

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