Saturday, April 11, 2009

The Kilimanjaro Awards 2009: The highs and lows

Nameless. Kenya’s Nameless beat four other nominees to bag the Best East African song. Photo/FILE

Nameless. Kenya’s Nameless beat four other nominees to bag the Best East African song. Photo/FILE 

By GEORGE MADIANG'I

As the Kisima Awards gala night was postponed for the umpteenth time, the organisers of the 10th edition of the Tanzanian Kili Music Awards kept their word last week and gave East Africa’s artistes and fans something to cheer.

It had its own flaws, sabotage and little glamour.

But Dar’s Diamond Jubilee’s choice as the venue of the event was a big plus for the organisers. BUZZ arrived at the venue one hour to the scheduled time but the event kicked off late.

A-listers in the Tanzanian entertainment industry walked into the award hall that had no red carpet. By 9.30 p.m., the time the event was scheduled to begin, the hall was still half empty.

Only comedian Masanja, rapper Fid Q, producer Lamar, Nameless and his dancers, Banana Zorro, rapper Witness (formerly of Wakilisha), traditional artistes and taraab musicians had arrived.

The turnout appeared to worry the organisers. This could be seen on the face of Oscar Shelukindo, who represents Tanzania Breweries in the Kili awards committee.

Banana Zorro and his B-band opened the stage and kept the crowd entertained as he performed copyright songs. All his band members were dressed in suits.

A corporate magnet, it’s said he is the Eric Wainaina of Tanzania. His performance lasted 20 minutes. Traditional artiste Wane Star and his acrobats took to the stage 10.05 p.m.

Dread-locked poet Mrisho Mpoto and Banana Zorro set the hall alight with their exciting performance of the song ‘Mjomba’ from 10.15 p.m.

Banana is the natural singer of the duo. Mrisho can be compared to Jua Cali; his style is not genge, but, boy, can’t he talk on beats though. If he went through some lessons, Mrisho could easily be the TZ genge artiste.

The duo stepped out of the stage four minutes later, leaving behind an excited crowd. Hosts Jokate Mwegelo and Clouds FM’s Reuben Ndege have the looks but there was no chemistry at all.

Unlike Kenyan awards like CHAT and KISIMA that always have celebrities make grand entrance, Bongo musicians don’t care about stunts and keep it simple.

Performances by Keisher, Twanga Pepeta International, Q-Jay and Makamua, Blu3, AY, T.I.D and Nameless kept the guests entertained.

Uganda’s Blu3 performed their new songs, Strong Woman, Get Together and Burn while AY did two songs. But it was Nameless who stole the show and got everyone on their feet.

Dressed in all black, the singer proved why many people regard him as the best of the best in the region. He performed three songs, Boomba, Sinzia and Salari and they just loved it.

Surprise guests behaving badly

TID, who sometime last year and in a later exclusive interview with Buzz vowed never to attend the awards ceremony, was in attendance.

Spotting all white designer suit and seated next to Gadner Habbash. That was not all; he was taking booze even while he performed.

But he was quick to defend himself saying he got a deal. “They gave me a good deal and I took it. People mess up and are forgiven,” he quipped.

But his performance left many tongues wagging. TID decided to do top table belly dance and then went around begging for tips saying he is a broke ex convict, imagine that!

American rapper Chingy had been billed to be the night’s biggest surprise, but he did little to shock the fans.

Dressed in a white shirt, black denim and matching sneakers, the rapper kept his speech short and thanked the sponsors for flying him in.

“I’m here to support the awards and I’m glad to hand over the Best hip-hop artiste award to Chidi Benz,” he said.

Chidi Benz, branded Tanzania’s bad boy, sought to use the occasion to clean his tainted image. “I have been in many fights and I know many view me as a bad boy. All I ask for is support and prayer.

Nobody is perfect and just like anybody else, I make mistakes. Kindly forgive me and let’s move forward. Things happen and I’m trying to be a better person,” said the rapper while receiving his award from Chingy.

Miss Tanzania 2000 Hoyce Temu either needed some rehearsals or she has never attended any award ceremony.

The former beauty queen could not wait for the nominees’ videos to play on the screen before announcing the winner. She announced the winner while the nominees’ names were still being read out!

.....

THE WINNERS

As is the tradition at Kili Awards, new acts carried the day. Producer Hermy B, songbird Mwasiti, video producer John Kallage, Dogo Mfalme, and Wakali Kwanza (Q-Jay, Makamua, Keisher) were some of the new stars who took home honours.

But Chidi Benz and Taraab singer Mzee Yusuf have become synonymous with their categories, winning for three consecutive years.

Chidi Benz took home the Best hip-hop artiste award. MB Dogg, who had three nominations, won the coveted Best Male Artiste beating Matonya, Makamua, Q-Jay and Hammer Q.

Seif Shabaan, better known as Matonya, and Mzee Yusuf were the biggest winners of the night, each walking away with two awards.

Despite snubbing the ceremony, Matonya won two awards out of three nominations. He won Song of the Year award and Best collaboration song for Anita.

Taarab singer Mzee Yusuf won Best Taraab album and Best Taraab song beating heavyweights like T.O.T, East African Melody and Dar Modern Taraab.

Mzee Yusuf was present to pick both awards, but instead of giving a vote of thanks he sang a verse off his award-winning song V.I.P.

But it was singer Keisher who shocked many when she carried away the Best Female Artiste award.

Keisher could not believe it when she beat Lady Jay Dee and Mwasiti who had been tipped to carry the award. Kenya’s Nameless beat four other nominees to bag the Best East African song.

His runaway hit ‘Salari’, got the nod of the majority of voters. While accepting the award, Nameless joked about how happy he was as he wouldn’t take Wahu’s win comfortably.

“I thank all who have made Salari the best East African song. I respect all other nominees in this category. I don’t know what would happen if Wahu won. All in all, it’s still Wahu’s award,” he said as he left the stage.

.....

List of Winners

Best Female artiste: Keisher
Best Male artiste: MB Dogg
Best taarab album: V.I.P by Jahazi Modern taarab
Best Taarab song: V.I.P by Jahazi Modern taarab
Song of the year: Anita by Matonya
Best Kiswahili band song: Heshima kwa Mwanamke by FM Academia
Best Kiswahili band album: Pekecha pekecha by Akudo impact
Best R”n’B song: Natamani by Q-jay,Makamua and Joslin
Best traditional Kiswahili song: Kazi ya dukani by Dogo Mfalme
Best hip hop song: Ngoma itambae by Chidi benz
Best traditional Kiswahili album: Dela Dela by Che Mundugwao and Mbega Arts
Best Reggae/ragga song: Ripoti by Tunda man
Best rap artiste: Mangwea
Best East African song: Salary by Nameless
Best producer: Hermy B
Best Video producer: John Kalage of Kallage production
Best composer: Karama Legesu
Best Songwriter: Professor Jay
Best Zouk song: Nalivua pendo by Mwasiti
Best collaboration: Anita by Matonya feat Lady Jay Dee
Hall of fame: The late Salum Abdalla