We will stick to nominees list’

Organisers of the Nyasa Music Awards (NMAs), to be held on May 4 2018 at Comesa Hall in Blantyre, have said they will not change the nominees list despite being criticised by some quarters.

One of the members of the organising team, James Makunje Jr, said Tuesday that the nominees list is intact and complete and that they are ready for the awards.

“There were mixed reactions on the nomination list but let me say it here that nominees will never change. People have their own opinions and whether they are hundred percent accurate, it is very hard to please everyone,” Makunje Jr said.

There are close to 22 categories in this year’s awards. They include Album of the Year, Best Hip Hop Artist, Best Acoustic, Best Male Artist, Best Group and Best Afro Pop.

A category such as Best Group which has Zathu Band, Classmates, Nyasa Gurus, Home Grown and Bossaro Music Group has attracted heavy criticism.

Makunje Jr indicated that voting lines were expected to open yesterday and called on people to vote, describing the awards as transparent.

“People should vote so that we should have the right winners,” he said.

Other players have also criticised the NMAs organisers for engaging South Africa’s Somizi as host.

But Makunje Jr said it was a big step for them to have Somizi, who is well-known as the host of the awards.

“Preparations are at an advanced stage and we are ready for the awards and we are excited about this year. We expect it to be a unique event with Somizi hosting the event,” he said.

Makunje Jr said some people might have their reservations on Somizi but, for them, it is about exposure for local acts and the country.

“We would like to cross the borders just like Nigerians have done. It is a big step having Somizi, who will co-host with our very own Judith Emcee. The focus is on exposing artists and our talent. We have a better insight in this,” he said.

Makunje Jr said the country needs to dig deeper and open up the channels that will make other countries start looking at Malawi and see that there is talent.

Having announced performers such as Gwamba, Theo Thomson, The Great Angels, Zani Challe and Macelba recently, Makunje Jr said they would have no international act.

“We already said that we are having no foreign artist. The performers are all local and actually it’s now complete with no more other additions. We also have Zathu Band and Tay Grin on the list,” he said.

Makunje Jr said people should patronise the awards.

The tickets have since started selling at K15,000 standard for advance and K25,000 VIP, which includes dinner.

The NMAs debuted last year at the same venue and, apart from Makunje Jr, the other creators are Mathambo Lowole and Chifundo Maganga

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