By Walimbwa Emma
The Buzz magazine held its awards for Uganda and Kenya on last weekend. These awards have tried to be different from the main stream awards like PAM Awards which are marred with allegations of favoritism and sidelining of some artists who are not in good terms with the organizers. The awards are a good thing for the development of music as they reward the hard work and effort put in by the artists, producers and promoters but they are still wanting when it comes to categorization. The Buzz Teenz Awards this year had a category of the best riddim. But before I talk of riddim, let us get its definition according to Wikipedia “A riddim (Patois for instrumental rhythm track) is an instrumental version of a song, which applies to Jamaican music or other forms of Caribbean music. Riddims usually consist of a drum pattern and a prominent bass line. The Jamaican Patois term riddim is derived from the English word "rhythm". "Riddims are the primary musical building blocks of Jamaican popular songs....”
According to the above definition, the songs that were nominated in the riddim of the year are wanting because riddim are sampled by more than one artist which is not the case for Uganda where the artist not the producer owns rights to the ridddim and riddims are associated with dancehall music so having a song like Kyaba too much by Mun G in the category and even win the award beats my understanding of riddim.
The second issue with the BTA is that some nominees are sponsors of the event, take HOT 100 and NTV who have be co sponsors of the awards for some years now. This puts the credibility of the awards into check since the panel will tend to favour one of their own.
The Kenya version of the awards by Insyder Magazine (Chaguo) was not as organized as the previous versions. In fact the list of award winner leaked to the media as early as Thursday, it was even claimed that the event was recorded on Thursday. KTN struggled to air the show on Saturday by postponing twice the “live” airing. This alone leaves one wondering why you promise the nation and East Africa that the awards will be aired “live” and instead opt for recording and at the last minute fail to even air the recorded version at the said time. It puts the ethics and abilities of the organizers into question because it is not a must to air them on TV.