Viacom-owned MTV is bringing back an African music awards show after a three-year hiatus and is looking to give it a global push. Marlon Wayans will host the so-called MAMAs, short for the MTV Africa Music Awards, which will be held in the coastal resort of Durban, South Africa on June 7. For the first time, they will air live globally through a combination of pay TV and terrestrial distribution, according to the company. Created by African urban music and youth entertainment channel MTV Base, the MAMAs recognize youth culture, music and other standouts from sub-Saharan Africa, rewarding achievement in 18 different categories, including music and Iifestyle.
The awards show was launched in 2008. It last took place in 2010 in Lagos, Nigeria with Eve as the host. While primarily a music awards show, organizers say the MAMAs reflect the ambition of MTV Base parent company Viacom and its Viacom International Media Networks Africa arm to support African contemporary artists and musicians. The goal is to present a positive, upbeat and modern image of Africa in Western countries and to inspire young Africans around the world.
Key awards categories at the show include best male artist, best female artist, best collaboration, video of the year, song of the year, personality of the year and the MTV Base leadership award. The awards show will also feature performances from Trey Songz, Miguel and French Montana. A concert featuring top DJs and nominees from the MAMAs in Lagos, Nigeria on May 30 will cap a pre-show, pan-African music tour, dubbed “Road to MAMA,” which started in Tanzania and is ending up in South Africa.
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