Time to celebrate. Less because of the date than because one of the country’s pop party bands, Gang Of Instrumentals, has been nominated for a beeg award. Beeg in that the coverage of this event reaches about 90 million viewers.
“What’s that?” you say, “We don’t even HAVE that many people in this country.” True. But there are other award ceremonies on this continent besides the SAMAs, just as there are other countries in Africa besides the motherland (if you reply “what’s that? We’re in Africa?” you’re on the wrong blog. Go surfing, why don’t you?)
Yes, we’re in Africa. Or had Cape Town’s clean (smelly) streets somewhat fooled you of late? Things are happening in Africa. Blk Jks were born on this soil, and are about to leave us (again) for a worldwide tour. (“Home is where the party’s at,” they said yesterday while we fried our respective brains with a cell phone interview that was too much fun to cut short). And fo sho Africa is the home of the MAMAs. By which I don’t only mean any woman older than yourself.
The MAMAs are the MTV base African Music Awards. Their blurb is quick-read and corporate “... blah blah... a pan-African music and entertainment platform…munch munch...distributes MTV, VH1, MTV base and … natter prattle …one of the fastest growing regions in the company's portfolio of multi-platform businesses…” waitaminute. What does that mean? That means money. Like we’re surprised. Social networking consumption is overtaking porn consumption on the internet, but in half-blessed Africa, where you can get it , TV is still king,. (While mobile sneakily sneaks in and susses the next capitalist colonisation). But why parentheses, jezebel? Put it out there - mobile is a partner in these awards.
Zain, leading mobile telecommunications operator is the sole sponsor of the event, actually. Sies. Down in the land of our wired siblings (in name only?) Telkom and Eskom, we know more than we’d like to about the marvellous blessings of monopolies. (though our president disagrees daintily enough. At least as far as punani is concerned). The point about the sponsor is that having a major like Zain might make sms voting easier …for the single peoples’ choice award. So you get your say, one way. Last year, Africa voted for DBanj’s “Why Me”? (that’s funny, if you stop and think about it. but don’t. thinking is so intellectual, isn’t it dAndy?)… The SAMAs peoples’ choice was ‘2 By 2’ by Pretoria duo, Rhythmic Elements, for the record, a band that formed in 2005 only. The point? They want us to vote for a party to rule millions, but they only want us to vote for ONE music award. And we already mentioned the money issue, didn’t we? There’s a lot to be said for the cyclical nature of profit making and celebrity making and taste making through the threesomes of awards and mobile service providers and music, but I’m not saying it. MTN are, though.
“There’s definitely value in winning an MTN SAMA,” states the MTN SA Music Awards organisers. “Winners can expect an increase in interest in their careers and exposure. Naturally as the profile of the MTN SAMAs has grown every year, so too have the associated profiles of the artists recognised on the night.”
Blake might have a new face, but PR drivel definitely doesn’t, whether it’s a MAMA or a SAMA. A new SAMA winner came home after a drunken ceremony this year, and snarled, ‘yes, but so what?’ referring synonymously to the austerity of many of the award titles, and the difficulty that a band thrust into the jet-setting limelight has in keeping UP with the limelight when they’re still trying to make ends meet and pay their manager (if their manager doesn’t do it exclusively for the love). Money is, and seems it will always be, the focus of much of what the public gets to hear and see in music. The reward of music, somehow, evades this. But it cannot avoid the truth that it needs mass exposure, and the SAMAs and the MAMAs offer this all over Africa (and on your mobile. If you can work out the local code…)
Perhaps just to be the first prove which world we’re actually living in even if we’re online (sometimes), here’s the step-by-step to sms voting for Gang Of Instrumentals to get a MAMA:
“SMS THE KEYWORD THE ARTIST NAME TO THE REQUIRED SHORTCODE.
EXAMPLE: “BG Gang of instrumetals” TO THE SMS CODE FOR VOTERS TERRITORY.
NB- PLEASE NOTE THAT THE KEYWORD IS THE ABBREVIATION OF THE CATEGORY.
ALL SPELT VERSIONS OF THE ARTIST NAME SHOULD BE ALLOWED TO PASS THROUGH EVEN IF SPELT INCORRECTLY.
EXAMPLE: IF THE USER SPELLS SMS’S: “BG Gangs of instrumental” TO THE REQUIRED SHORTCODE IT SHOULD BE ACCEPTED. AS LONG AS THE KEYWORD IS ENTERED CORRECTLY WHICH IN THIS CASE IS BG.”
It’s an interestingly open-minded option – didn’t know we were sympathetic to dyslexia as well as illiteracy in Africa. But now what happens if you sms ‘BG Bag of incidentals”? or “BG bang of incrementals”? Stop laughing. I’ve done things like that.
Guess we’ll have to vote and see…
Out of interest, the Bang Of Influentials is against
Good luck getting your sms through...