When it launched in March, The Uganda Music awards (TUMA) promised one of the most professional award shows that Ugandans have witnessed in a long time.
The organisation promised to look at music above fame and clout; in other words, the awards promised to deliver talent that is worth its place on the international market.
Last week on Thursday, the awards released their official nomination list at a cocktail party that was attended by journalists, artistes and other industry stakeholders at The Fame Bar and Lounge on Acacia (John Babiiha) avenue.
Unlike the previous awards that mostly gave powers of voting to the public, TUMA intends to bring back sanity into the exercise by employing an academy of judges, apparently made up of music scholars, producers and critics.
Fans will not be edged out, though they will still have a 40 per cent say on who gets to walk away with what, come gala night.
Eddy Kenzo dominated the first edition list with six nominations, including heavy ones like ‘Artiste of the Year,’ ‘Male Artiste’ and ‘Song of the Year,’ thanks to his little-known, but YouTube sensation that Jubilation is becoming.
He is closely followed by new boy band B2C which gained acceptance for its song, Tokigeza. They are nominated in three categories, including ‘Best Breakthrough Artistes.’
TUMA has managed to bring on board many new faces, including fusion artistes such as Mo Roots, Charmant Mushaga, Ann Nassanga ‒ alias Afrie, ‒ Haka Mukiga and Kenneth Mugabi, among others.
But of course the awards were still viewed with doubt from the public, especially when Bobi Wine and Chameleone’s names came up under Artiste of the Year.
Many thought these two have not done enough, but are simply taking space that should have been occupied by younger talent. The public voting process will start on June 1 and close on 21 July; the academy will adjudicate artistic and technical qualities of the entries.
The award gala is set for August 4, at the Kampala Serena hotel.
By Andrew Kaggwa