My take on the Zambia Music Awards

Sara Drawwater
1 March 2013
Following on from

Following on from yesterday’s post, and sticking with the music theme, let’s talk about the Zambia Music Awards (ZMA’s) which took place last Friday the 22nd of February. Here’s how I quickly turned from disgruntled skeptic, to rather impressed and proud.

Let’s be honest, if you’ve had a chance to watch previous music award shows in Zambia, then I bet you were skeptical about the ZMA’s. As I sat down to watch the recorded show (already disgruntled that they hadn’t been aired in real time) I was prepared to unleash my negative thoughts on Twitter and Facebook. I expected to see a disorganised presentation, drunken artists with cringe worthy speeches, recorded performances not in sync with performers, and a delayed ‘everything’!

But wait. After five minutes everything had flowed seamlessly. Ten minutes, 15 minutes in, all good! I was pretty taken aback. The set was beautiful, the presenter eloquent, and knowledgeable about the artists he introduced. Sitting there with my phone in hand, I had no choice but to join the chorus of praise spreading across social media channels.

Amayenge performing at the ZMA’s[/caption]

Slap D with one of his five awards![/caption]

The Zambia Music Awards were well organised, and certainly a refreshing change to the usual poor standard award ceremonies we have been treated to. As it was the inaugural show, there were some glitches. But I expect that next year these can be sorted out.

The most obvious let down — the show was not aired as it happened. News of winning artists was all over the internet by the time the show was aired, three days after the actual event. This took away the excitement and anticipation factor.

Most negative reviews of the Zambia Music Awards came out before the actual show. Some artists, like the popular performer Mampi, complained of being nominated in the wrong category. An omission of singers like B1, with extremely popular hits like “Perfecto” and “Sikiriti” in the category of popular songs, was another debatable issue.

However, despite these criticisms, the show was generally a huge success with singers like SlapDee walking away with five awards, and the late Webster Malama winning the lifetime achievement award. Here’s a full list of 2013 ZMA award winners.

The ZMA’s are hosted by the National Arts Council of Zambia and Zambian Breweries. The awards were created to honour achievements in the recording arts and to support the Zambian music industry.

What were your thoughts on this year’s ZMA’s? What do you hope to see next year?