No cash prize for Ultimate awards
THE Ultimate FM Music Awards prize giving ceremony held yesterday was marred by the outcry of the winning artistes after the radio station could only deliver the studio equipment without the M5 000 prize money they had promised.
The inaugural Ultimate FM Music awards were held at Thaba-bosiu Cultural Village early this month, with the prize giving ceremony for the winners held at Maseru Sun Cabanas yesterday. The premise of the awards, which were segmented into 11 categories, was to appreciate the efforts of local musicians.
Winners included Lavida Loca for the Best Kwaito Album, Best Gospel, Makoanyane Ntlama; Best Video, Dunamis; Best Compilation, Sir Schaba; Best RNB, Sphiwe Nzima; Best Jazz, Lele Khasue; Best Dance, Phakzino; Best Hip Hop, Juvinile; Best Newcomer, Sir Schaba; Best Producer, DJ Slats and Song of the Year to Paul Lewake.
Apart from the studio equipment, the winners had initially been promised M5 000 each which did not materialise at the ceremony, much to their chagrin.
Those who spoke to the Weekender expressed disappointed that the monetary prize had been withdrawn without warning despite Ultimate FM’S undertaking to give it to the winners.
The bemused artistes said, while they were grateful for the equipment, they would find it difficult to trust the station in the future as the cash withdrawal had “left a bad first impression”.
On his part, Ultimate FM’S Dallas T claimed they opted not to give the artistes the money because they feared that some of them may “misuse it”.
Speaking at the prize giving ceremony, Ultimate FM Director, ‘Mabatho Lithebe, said: “I become very emotional when talking about local artists having seen how they are abused, undermined and oppressed.
“Ultimate FM, together with the sponsors, went out of its way to show a token of appreciation for the efforts of local artists and I hope these awards will uplift their spirits.
“It was not easy at the preparation stage, just like a mother before birth, but now I am proud to say that this baby has been born in a healthy condition.”
Some of the sponsors also lauded Ultimate FM for the initiative, saying it was an opportunity for them to give back to the community and uplift the country which is teeming with talent.
They further urged the awards show organisers to approach beforehand so they have time to prepare.
One of the winning artists, Sphiwe Nzima, expressed gratitude on behalf of her colleagues.
“On behalf of my fellow brethren, I would like to thank Ultimate FM and its associate sponsors for the hard work, sweat, tears, resistance, hostility and unfriendliness they endured,” Nzima said.
“They gave our craft a face and value in the midst of adversity, and honoured us by giving us stature regardless of how demeaning or impractical others feel it to be.”
double award winner Sir Schaba (left) receives his prizes from ultimate FM director ‘Mabatho Lithebe (right) and director general in the Ministry of Communications Motlatsi Monyane (centre).
Some of the ultimate FM Music Awards winners with the studio equipment.