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The 2012 MTV Europe Music Awards were a great success, with Taylor Swift sweeping most of the awards on the night. Interestingly, Kanye West was there too, as Kim Kardashian was presenting some awards, and he had no inclination to interrupt Swift’s acceptance speeches. In fact, he looked rather bored to be in the same room with her, although he kept his cool.
For some reason a lot of the American winners did not pitch to get their awards and all we got were the infamous “sorry I couldn’t make it” videos. Then again, these are European awards, so perhaps the US artists would rather be elsewhere.
On the bright side, though, the nominees have been announced and two local acts will battle it out for glamorous accolade. Twin brothers LCNVL and the comeback kids Mafikizolo were selected for a possible EMA Award in the Best African Act category. I say possible, because the two acts face stiff competition from other contenders, including Ghanaian muso Fuse ODG, Nigerian superstars Wizkid and P-Square.
Voting lines are now open for fans to support their favourite artists, and here is hoping one of the two South African acts bring it home. But that’s just it, isn’t it? On one end we love the idea of having our acts scoop international prizes, but on the other we don’t do anything about it.
The culture of voting in South Africa is still very much a foreign phenomenon. In fact, a lot of competitions, from Idols SA to Big Brother Africa meet with the same fate, with South African contestants standing little chance of winning. The same concern should be directed at the upcoming MTV EMA awards. We have a good chance of bringing it home, because LCNVL have done a great job at cracking the international market. They are even brand ambassadors of the powerful Monster Headphones launched at last year’s EMA showcase. If you know your products, you know that Monster would not choose just another vague act to sell their products, given that their other ambassadors include Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga and Diddy.
Mafikizolo are the undisputed talented pair that made a good move by reuniting. Their new sound – which has roots in Salif Keita’s songbook and yet with local lyrics – has opened new doors for them. The duo is on an incredible path and I see many awards in their future, but whether one of them is an EMA is questionable.
Nigeria is known to vote passionately about anything Nigerian. That said, the acts that come from that country push their boundaries when it comes to popularity. Wizkid has the hit track Azonto, which is a club hit that will form part of the African dance Christmas playlist. P-Square are way out of any of these contestants’ league. With collaborations with high-profile rappers like Rick Ross, the brothers are on top of their game.
To make make sure they don’t clinch the spot, we need to support our own and repeat history when Freshlyground brought the award home.
• The MTV EMA awards will be held on November 10 at the Ziggo Dome in Amsterdam. For more info go to http://tv.mtvema.com