Yesterday, the Ugandan music industry was sent into excitement after cabinet approved the bid to host the 2019 MTV Africa Music Awards (MAMA).

The MAMA awards were established in 2008 by MTV Networks Africa to celebrate the most popular contemporary music in Africa. If accepted, this will be the first time Uganda will host awards of such a magnitude.

Ugandan artistes have enjoyed relative recognition in the awards most notably in the last two editions of the awards held in 2015 and 2016 with a couple of nominations for Sheebah, Eddy Kenzo, Bebe Cool, and Chameleone.

Sheebah Karungi (in red) at the 2016 MAMAs

The 2019 edition comes at a time when the Ugandan music industry has lost its greats to politics. The likes of Chameleone, Bobi Wine, and Bebe Cool have all joined politics actively, something which has had positive but mostly negative effects on the music industry.

Nonetheless, the anticipation is on and there are huge expectations from the music fans and the cabinet which briefed the press about why it decided to approve the bid. Follow statement below:

Cabinet sat on Monday August 12th 2019 at State House, Entebbe, and;

  1. Noted that Uganda will participate in the fourth Edition of the East African Community (EAC) Arts and Culture Festival (JAMAFEST), 2019 in Der-es Salaam from 21st – 28th September, 2019 under the theme “Cultural Diversity; a key driver to Regional Integration, Economic Growth and Tourism Promotion” The objectives of JAMAFEST are;
    • To provide a platform to showcase art and culture as primary drivers of Regional and sustainable development;
    • To bring together East African Cultural Practitioners and Administrators to share and celebrate the rich and diverse cultural heritage as well as contemporary practice of East Africa;
    • To ensure that residents have access to quality healthcare services which is equitable and affordable;
    • To foster the economic development of EAC through nurturing the growth of a strong creative and cultural industry; and
    • To promote art, culture and Tourism as a tool in the celebration and branding of East African Identity and image.
  2. Approved Uganda’s bid to host the MTV Africa Music Awards (MAMA) 2019.  Hosting of the event is expected to;
    • Showcase the best of Uganda to a Pan-African and Global audience;
    • To provide a platform that empowers Ugandan and other African Artists, whilst celebrating creative diversity and excellence;
    • To empower the Uganda youth through job and internship opportunities during the campaign, thereby maximizing skills transfer opportunities;
    • To create public relations opportunities for Tourism stakeholders with global media outlet; and
    • To profile Uganda across 48 Countries in Africa and 60 territories around the world that Viacom International Media Networks African channels broadcast to.

We leave you with the question: Do you think Uganda is ready to host the MAMA awards this year?

Related Story: Ugandan cabinet approves bid to host the 2019 MTV Africa Music Awards

Josh Ruby is an Editor with high interest and knowledge in the Ugandan entertainment space, an industry he has been actively part of since 2010. Leads to breaking stories are welcome!

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