Uganda to host 2021 MTV Africa Music Awards

Clips on a musical video during the MTV Awards ceremony at the Veldrome in Abuja on November 22, 2008. The first ever MTV Music Awards for Africa, or MAMA as it is known, was held in Abuja. The event which subsequently will hold annually in different African location was conceived by MTV Africa music channel, MTV base and sponsored by Zain, a leading telecommunications giant to champion and celebrate contemporary African music and youth culture on the continent. AFP PHOTO / PIUS UTOMI EKEPI (Photo credit should read PIUS UTOMI EKPEI/AFP via Getty Images)
FILE PHOTO: Clips on a musical video during the MTV Awards ceremony at the Veldrome in Abuja, Nigeria. (Photo credit PIUS UTOMI EKPEI/AFP via Getty Images)

The Ugandan capital Kampala will host next year’s MTV Africa Music Awards (MAMAs),

MTV made the announcement on Wednesday and said the event will take place on February 20, 2021. The Kampala presentation will be the first-ever live-streamed virtual MTV Africa Awards. It will also be the first time that the awards will be held in Uganda.

Monde Twala, senior vice president of ViacomCBS Networks Africa, hailed Uganda’s vision to use the awards to unite young people through culture and music, and also celebrate music across the continent.

“Everyone knows that the Pearl of Africa (Uganda) is one of the most beautiful, most amazing parts of Africa…and the people, the vibe, the music in Uganda…there is no other place that is well and ready to host the MAMAs in 2021,” Twala said.

Holding the awards virtually will a wide variety of cross-border collaboration between international and African artists “way more than we have ever had before”, Craig Paterson, senior vice president of ViacomCBS Networks Africa, said.

Uganda’s State Minister for Tourism Godfrey Kiwanda said the announcement marked a “great day” for Africa and Uganda, which, he added, was “super excited” to host the awards.

“This is Africa’s best moment as we showcase the Pearl of Africa. Welcome MAMAs to the Pearl of Africa! Welcome MAMAs to Uganda!” Kiwanda said.

Kiwanda said the hosting of the MAMAs will be done in conjunction with the ministry to boost the country’s tourism profile. Tourism contributes about 10 percent to the East African nation’s GDP.

The MAMAs, which were first held in 2008, were last held in Johannesburg, South Africa, in 2016. The other time the awards were held in East Africa was in 2009 in Nairobi, Kenya.