Cash prizes for UMA win­ners

Lesotho Times - - Weekender - Mo­halenyane Phakela

WIN­NERS of the third edi­tion of the Ul­ti­mate Mu­sic Awards (UMAS) will re­ceive money for the first time as part of their prizes next week.

The UMAS are the brain­child of Ul­ti­mate FM ra­dio sta­tion aimed at recog­nis­ing and re­ward­ing out­stand­ing lo­cal artistes in var­i­ous cat­e­gories.

Ul­ti­mate FM Sta­tion Di­rec­tor, ‘Ma­batho Lithebe, said they had set out to im­prove the awards ev­ery year hence the prize money for this year’s win­ners which had been availed by cor­po­rate spon­sors.

The awards were spon­sored by Econet Tele­com Le­sotho, Stan­dard Le­sotho Bank, Rock The City SA, Metropoli­tan Le­sotho, Al­liance In­surance, LSP Con­struc­tion, Black­mix Le­sotho, Brayk­thru Me­dia, Dream Wed­ding, M&A Se­cu­rity, Le­sotho Flour Mills and UNESCO.

“We are pleased to an­nounce that this year we will be able to give prize money which we failed to pro­vide in the past,” Lithebe said.

“In the past two edi­tions we only man­aged to of­fer a tro­phy and other equip­ment such as mini stu­dios but this year we are hum­bled by the sup­port from dif­fer­ent com­pa­nies for it is through them that the prize money will be avail­able,” she said.

She said the UMAS were part of the na­tional ra­dio sta­tion’s continuing ef­forts to up­lift lo­cal mu­si­cians who “con­tinue to ex­cel even in the dire con­di­tions of their in­dus­try”.

“It is also through this ini­tia­tive that we ad­vo­cate for in­ter­na­tional plat­forms and ap­pre­ci­a­tion of lo­cal artistes for we Ba­sotho of- ten value for­eign acts more than our own,” she said.

Mean­while, the third in­stal­ment of the UMAS lived up to ex­pec­ta­tions be­fore a packed ‘Man­thabiseng Con­ven­tion Cen­tre on Satur­day night. Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Min­is­ter Se­ri­a­long Qoo, the min­istry’s Prin­ci­pal Sec­re­tary Tšeliso Khomari and for­mer min­is­ter Khotso Let­satsi graced the event.

This was the first time that the crown­ing cer­e­mony was held in­doors and there was glitz and glam­our with the dressed-to-kill stars re­ceiv­ing a red-car­pet re­cep­tion upon ar­rival. A big pro­jec­tion screen fol­lowed their ev­ery move and dis­played the names of the nom­i­nees in the 13 cat­e­gories.

South African-based rap­per J Cob won the Song of the Year award for the se­cond year run­ning, L-tore won the Best Hip Hop and Best Com­pi­la­tion award and vet­eran Famo mu­si­cian Phau Manyetse bagged the Life­time Achiever award.

Other win­ners were Ti­tos Da DJ (Dance Al­bum), Cablo Nice (Kwaito Al­bum), St­lofa (Ur­ban Con­tem­po­rary), Malehlo­honolo Mphou (Gospel Al­bum), Tsiee (Afro Pop) Khothomet­sane ea Motse (Famo), Mamello Raboch­ene (Mu­sic Video), Lak­a­bane (New­Comer), Za­gro DJS (Pro­ducer) and Bal­lopol­loa Ba Morena (In­ter­na­tional Break­through).

J Cob told the Week­ender on the side­lines of the event that he was hon­oured by the recog­ni­tion which showed that Ba­sotho still loved his mu­sic “even though I do not get to per­form in the coun­try on reg­u­lar ba­sis”.

“I can­not find proper words to show my grat­i­tude to lo­cal fans for their undy­ing sup­port. I would also like to thank gov­ern­ment for their ef­forts to up­lift the lo­cal mu­sic in­dus­try through Ul­ti­mate FM for the awards serve as an im­por­tant ref­er­ence on the in­ter­na­tional plat­form,” he said.

There were top qual­ity live per­for­mances by lo­cal and South African artistes. Khotso Nt­lama, Ma­panaki, Mega Hertz, MIP, Juvy, Heart Break­ers and Maleh had the crowd eat­ing out their hands along with South Africa’s Robbie Malinga, Musa and Tuks.

The same artistes also per­formed at the af­ter-party which con­tin­ued into the early hours of Sun­day morn­ing along with the likes of Rock The City SA’S Mono T, Sdud­laNoma1000, DJ SK, Lyquid, Mono T and DJ Vesta.

AFRO Jazz singer Mookho MALEH. dou­ble awards win­ner l-tore. SOUTH African-based rap­per J Cob.

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