It was business as usual at the 17th Metro FM Music Awards, with the familiar what-the-heck-is-going-on bewilderment throughout, the ill-conceived outfit choices and shoddy performances.
What there conspicuously wasn’t was the larger-than-life figures of Riky Rick, who famously stole the show last time around with his controversial outbursts that effectively sent the Metros into hiding, and AKA, the supremely talented late rapper who surprisingly dominated the show.
Instead, after a five year hiatus and a hyped up theme of Black is Back, the popular radio station returned to subject us to arguably its most underwhelming show yet.
Vlogger @sipho_says contextualised it well when he tweeted: “These awards took like a 3 year break, only to return worse than ever. Whack is back.”
It should’ve been crystal clear how things would be after how jumbled the lead up to the event was.
After receiving my invitation on April 21, the next piece of communication with details on accommodation and travel arrangements was only sent to me on May 4, a day before the official pre-party. Not ideal.
Held at the Mbombela Stadium in Mpumalanga, the ceremony attracted thousands of fans and many of the country’s biggest artists. But from the onset it was clear that something was amiss.
For starters, it was evident that most celebrities didn’t care enough to respect the theme (which was black with a touch of white) when they appeared on the “Black Carpet”.
There were red, blue, grey and yellow outfits galore. Even the hosts, Lerato Kganyago and Katlego Maboe, didn’t take heed to the theme in most of their outfit changes throughout the evening.
Thank heavens for the stunning Blue Mbombo who, as ever, came dressed to the nines and honoured the theme from head to toe. Ntando Duma was also a notably well-dressed attendee with her slick, body hugging black dress.
Ahead of the awards, the main storyline was veteran hip hop acts AKA and K.O going toe toe across several of the biggest categories.
Given “Sete’s” record-breaking run, the expectation was that K.O would handily come out trumps.
But the first indication that it was going to be a long night ahead for K.O came early on when the very first award, Best Collaboration, surprisingly went to AKA for his Nasty C collaboration, “Lemons (Lemonade)”.
Nasty C gave a tribute to AKA when he performed “Lemons (Lemonade)” shortly afterwards. Sadly, the 26-year-old’s performance left a lot to be desired. And he wasn’t the only one.
Most of the performances throughout the night were uninspiring.
In their defence though, the performers weren’t helped by some sound issues throughout. Mafikizolo, Babes Wodumo, DJ Tira, Big Nuz, 25K, Maglera Doe Boy, Musa Keys and Boohle also graced the stage.
In receiving the award for Best Collaboration, AKA’s mom Lynn Forbes took to the stage alongside his dad Tony and daughter Kairo and gave a heart-warming speech to her late son.
“Kiernan, you make us so proud,” she said. “We have come full circle from the first time you were in this very same city in 2011 for your first Metro FM awards.
“To the family, the friends and everybody that has been there to support Kiernan, thank you so much.”
AKA went on to also win Artist of the Year, Best Male Artist and Best Hip Hop Artist.
Perhaps even more surprisingly, poor K.O left empty handed after being snubbed for the final and most prestigious award of the evening, Song of the Year, which went to Betusile Mcinga’s “Ngena Noah”.
While “Sete” has been trending at number one in South Africa since last night as tweeps share their theories on how in the world it didn’t win anything K.O, who’s currently on tour in the U.K, congratulated AKA and his fans on Instagram on Sunday morning, “My dawg Kiernan AKA Forbes. Your legacy is eternal. Congrats to the megacy.”
What a class act.
THE FULL LIST OF WINNERS:
Artist of the Year: AKA
Best Afrosoul Pop Song: Zuko SA – “Andikalibali”
Best Amapiano Song: Deep London – “Hamba Wena”
Best Collaboration Song: AKA feat. Nasty C – “Lemons (Lemonade)”
Best Duo or Group: Inkabi Nation
Best Female Artist: Makhadzi
Best Gospel Album: Pastor Lungi Ndala – “Victorious Praise”
Best Hip-Hop Artist: AKA
Best House Song: SKYE WANDA – AMAZWI
Best Jazz Album: Nduduzo Makhathini - “In The Spirit of Ntu”
Best Kwaito/Gqom Song: DJ Tira – “Sikilidi”
Best Male Artist: AKA
Best Male Video: DJ Tira – Sikilidi
Best New Age R&B Artist: MOE
Best Viral Challenge: Deep London feat Boohle – “Hamba Wena”
New Artist: CocoSA
Best Styled Artist: Musa Keys
Lifetime Award: Dr Esther Mahlangu and Mafikizolo
Song of the Year: Betusile Mcinga – “Ngena Noah”
Africa Award: Waters (Namibia)