No Channel O Music Awards once again

Cassper Nyovest performs at the 2014 Channel O Africa music video awards held at Nasrec expo centre on the 29th of November 2014. Pic: Tshepo Kekana
Cassper Nyovest performs at the 2014 Channel O Africa music video awards held at Nasrec expo centre on the 29th of November 2014. Pic: Tshepo Kekana

M-net has hit pause on the Channel O Africa Music Video Awards for the second year.

The event was one of the big five music ceremonies - SAMAs, MetroFM Music Awards, Crown Gospel Music Awards and SA Hip Hop Awards - and a social calendar highlight.

The last time the pan-African awards were staged was in 2014 at Nasrec Expo Centre near Soweto, and big winners were Cassper Nyovest and Diamond Platnumz, who both took home three awards. The awards were held every year since 2005.

Music industry heavyweights have lamented the disappearance of the awards. Kentridge Tlale, label manager at Gallo Records, commented: "I'm a firm believer in African cultural trade, and music is the best way to go about it.

The Channel O Awards opened up collaborations between South African and African artists. They played a big role in introducing us to the likes of Oliver Mtukudzi and Ali Farka Toure. I would love to see them come back."

Adding her voice was Tumi Voster, 5FM DJ and marketing manager at Universal Music.

"It's sad that they are not happening again this year. It's always great to see African artists collaborate and create music bigger than themselves, and these awards are a starting point which allows all artists to be open-minded in their offering."

Lance Stehr of Muthaland Records whose artists include Nathi and Vusi Nova said the absence of the awards was a loss.

"This is sad. Why do these awards go away just when we come with the biggest hits? Awards boost the local industry and show off the diversity from the continent as well. It's a loss."

Nkateko Mabaso, the newly appointed group general manager for M-Net SA, promised that the awards would return.

"We have had to re-purpose our business and make more local content. We redirected our investment towards scripted content more with our daily dramas like Isibaya and Sunday night and Monday night dramas. Local content has increased substantially on Mzansi Magic ..."

Mabaso said the channel has remained the most watched music channel on DStv and continued to flight videos of musicians from across the continent.

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