The organisers of the second annual Music Malawi (Muma) Awards, Media Corp Limited and Trocadero Consulting in partnership with Musicians Union of Malawi (Mum) has finally released the list of the nominees in different categories ahead of the awards ceremony slated for Bingu International Conference Centre in Lilongwe on February 27.
The list has 15 categories which include Best Hip Hop/Rap, Best Acoustic/Jazz, Best Gospel Artist(Female), Best Gospel Artist (Male), Best R&B, Best Male Artist, Best Female Artist,Best New Artist, Best Traditional Artist, Best Dancehall Artist Best Reggae Artist, Best Gospel Group, Best Band and Song of the Year.
The organisers have said they arrived at the 15 categories after making thorough consultations which included reaching out to various media houses.
This follows heavy criticism the organisers received last year when people questioned the many errors in the different categories.
The organisers have said that the 15 categories are covering different genres and artists as well as groups that have made an impact on the local music scene in the year 2014.
"The list of nominees follows submissions of best acts by various players in the local music industry that included journalists, complimented by a dedicated team of seven judges who were appointed to oversee the process," reads the statement.
The organisers who recently announced that organisers of Lake of Stars Festival had joined them as partners said voting process opened Thursday.
"To vote for your favourite artists for 2014, send an SMS with the keyword to 58411. Each SMS costs K25 only. Take note this is for Airtel subscribers only. A full list of nominees and the voting codes can also be accessed on the Mum facebook: http://www.facebook. com/mumaawards or follow us on twitter @MUMA_awards and the website: http://mumaawards. tumblr.com," reads the statement.
The category of Song of the Year has been dominated by gospel artists' songs and it features 'Mwasintha Nyengo Zanga,' by gospel artist Thocco Katimba, Lawi's 'Amaona Kuchedwa,' Lulu's 'Nzalera,' Princess Chitsulo's 'Ndidzayimba Nyimbo,' and King James Phiri's 'Mukumane ndi Moyo Wanga.'
The other key categories include Best Male Artist which has nominees Skeffa Chimoto, Dan Lufani, Lulu, Lawi and Katelele Ching'oma while in Best Female Artist which has also been dominated by gospel artists, the nominees are Ethel Kamwendo Banda, Favoured Martha, Princess Chitsulo, Stella Mwanza and Aycee James.
In the Best Gospel Artist (Male) category, the nominees are King James Phiri, Lloyd Phiri, Thocco Katimba, Evance Meleka and Allan Chirwa while in the category of Best Gospel Artist (Female), the nominees are Princess Chitsulo, Favoured Martha, Gloria Manong'a, Ethel Kamwendo Banda and Mada Ngoleka.
The category of Best Band has nominees Lusubilo Band, Zembani Band, Black Missionaries, Mizu Band and Malimba Band while the category of Best Reggae Artist; the nominees are Trumale, Black Missionaries, Anthony Makondetsa, Sally Nyundo and Soul Raiders.
Last year the organisers also recognised legends and it is not yet clear if they will do the same this year.
The organisers have since called upon Malawians to participate in voting to select their best artists adding that their mission in creating the Muma Awards is to positively impact on the growth of the local music industry through recognising, encouraging, nurturing and supporting overall professional excellence and the best of Malawi's local music.