Influential artists have reportedly asked 2021 Kampala MTV MAMA Awards organizers to reconsider staging the awards in Uganda following questionable Presidential elections.
According to Jeffrey Smith – a founding director of Vanguard Africa, “influential artists have written to Viacom execs (who run MTV) asking that they reconsider, warning that they risk tarnishing the org’s name,” he wrote in a tweet.
Smith, activists and several Ugandans feel the violence and human rights abuses before the disputed 2021 General elections should be addressed before encouraging tourism in the country.
“#VisitUganda, where being an opposition leader or supporter of change is a crime,” Smith says.
“Where critical music and art is banned. @MTVBaseAfrica, as partner of #Uganda’s government on the #MTVMAMA’s, it’s a responsibility to speak up, not legitimize abuse. Your silence is unacceptable.”
Smith adds that MTV should raise awareness against injustices performing artists are facing in Uganda for example the arrest of Nubian Li and banning of Bobi Wine’s music and concerts.
An official statement is yet to be released by the awards organizers on the matter but the future of the events seem to be clouded with controversy.