Zimbabwe misses out again on 2017 BET Africa Awards nominations

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…Where are we getting it wrong?

Ngoni Dapira  

THE nominees for the prestigious Black Entertainment Television awards (BET) came out last week and it is another dry spell for Zimbabwean based artistes regardless of some artistes now being recognised as A’ Listers on regional and international radios and satellite television channels.

Slated for June 27 on BET Africa (DStv Channel 129), its now the 17th edition of the awards and Zimbabwe is yet to make a mark at the Awards that have grown in popularity to celebrate achievements by African American artistes. As usual the Awards will nominate eight of the leading African artistes in the Best International Act: Africa Award.

This year as usual Nigeria has the most nominees (four) with Tekno, Mr Eazi, Davido and Wizkid who is no stranger to the awards, followed by South Africa’s AKA, Babes Wodumo and the rising star Nasty C, whilst Ghana’s reggae and dancehall artiste Stonebwoy fills up the eighth spot.

Zim-dancehall multi award winning artiste Winky D whose real name is Wallace Chirumiko.

Last year Zimbabwe’s top billers like Winky D and Jah Prayzah raised the bar on regional and international charts to the extent that some music followers felt they had come off age and 2017 would for the first time see a Zimbabwean based artiste making the grade for the nomination list of Africa’s A’ Lister’s in the entertainment circles.

Winky D’s 2015 chartbuster ‘Disappear’ in February last year topped  the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) Radio 1 Xtra, AfroBoss Top Five African A ‘ Lister’s chart. The song which had started off on bottom position in November (2015) shot up to the top ahead of songs by big continental stars like ‘Final’ by Wizkid, ‘We dance again’ by South Africa’s DJ Black Coffee, ‘Zigo (remix)’ by Tanzania’s AY and ‘Hol’ It’ by Ghana’s dancehall king Shatta Wale respectively.

Jah Prayzah (left) and Diamond Platnumz in a scene from their video of Watora Mari.

On the other hand the ‘Watora Mari’ collaboration by Jah Prayzah and Tanzania’s Diamond Platnumz went platinum across the continent topping charts on Zambezi Magic (DStv channel 160), which predominantly focuses on music from Southern Africa.

Whilst generally, over the past three years, the quality of videos produced by Zimbabwean based artistes has improved  remarkably, with most now investing a lot of money towards professional video shoots and high definition cameras, the upshot of this step up is still to be seen by merit at such awards such as the BET. West African countries have over the years dominated the African category whilst South Africa often dominates in the Southern African region.

Winky D’s manager Jonathan Banda however said Rome was not built in a day and Zimbabwean artistes were slowly making inroads.

“I believe we should take this positively. Personally Winky D has been upgrading himself with each project from his sound to the quality of videos, so we will get there one day. As artistes we should ask ourselves what it is that we are not doing. Some have already done that and are now doing collaborations with regional big artistes. Some are investing more money towards quality videos getting the best local video producers and some going as far to get the best video producers from South Africa to shoot for them. So I believe we are getting there,” said Banda.

Banda added that the onus was with local artistes to up their game to international standards and change the world’s view about African music just like what Nigerians did with their ‘Niger’ music.

However, Zimbabwe has not completely had a dry spell at the BET awards in the past years. In 2015 the United States-based Zimbabwean R&B singer Tinashe Jorgensen Kachingwe was nominated for the prestigious BET under the Best New Artist category.

US based Zimbabwean artiste Tinashe.

Although Tinashe is a native of America by birth, she has often gone on record to proudly proclaim her identity as a Zimbabwean through her paternal roots.

In other categories, the proclaimed queen of R&B Beyonce is topping with seven nominations, Bruno Mars has five, followed by Chance the Rapper, Solange and Migos that are tied with four nominees each.

Flash back…America’s power couples Beyoncé with Jay Z (left) and Kanye with Kim Kardashian at the 2015 awards.

According to the DStv press release, this year’s broadcast would continue to be a ‘cultural breaker’ and as usual reincarnate some of the most memorable moments in the Award’s history by some of the African American greats.

“In 2016, Beyoncé and Kendrick Lamar surprised guests with a groundbreaking performance of ‘Freedom’ whilst Sheila E. and Mayte Garcia performed during the Prince Lifetime Achievement Award tribute and Jesse Williams’ brought the audience to their feet with his dynamic and ever-viral Humanitarian Award acceptance speech. The BET Awards have set the standard for one of the most intently unconventional, news-provoking broadcasts. To vote for your favourite artist, please go www.betafrica.tv. Lines are now open till 26 May 2017,” read the press release.

The BET Awards annually recognize achievements by African Amerian artists, entertainers and athletes across over 20 categories. The nominations are selected by BET’s Voting Academy, which comprises of fans and an esteemed group of entertainment professionals in the fields of television, film, music, social media, digital marketing, sports journalism, public relations and the creative arts.

 

Below is the complete list of the 2017 BET Awards nominees:

 

Best Female R&B/Pop Artist

BEYONCÉ

KEHLANI

MARY J. BLIGE

RIHANNA

SOLANGE

 

Best Male R&B/Pop Artist

BRUNO MARS

CHRIS BROWN

THE WEEKND

TREY SONGZ

USHER

 

Best Group

2 CHAINZ & LIL WAYNE

A TRIBE CALLED QUEST

FAT JOE & REMY MA

MIGOS

RAE SREMMURD

 

Best Collaboration

BEYONCÉ FT. KENDRICK LAMAR – FREEDOM

CHANCE THE RAPPER FT. 2 CHAINZ & LIL WAYNE – NO PROBLEM

CHRIS BROWN FT. GUCCI MANE & USHER – PARTY

DJ KHALED FT. BEYONCÉ & JAY Z – SHINING

MIGOS FT. LIL UZI VERT – BAD AND BOUJEE

RAE SREMMURD FT. GUCCI MANE – BLACK BEATLES

 

Best Male Hip-Hop Artist

BIG SEAN

CHANCE THE RAPPER

DRAKE

FUTURE

  1. COLE

KENDRICK LAMAR

 

Best Female Hip-Hop Artist

CARDI B

MISSY ELLIOTT

NICKI MINAJ

REMY MA

YOUNG M.A.

 

Video of the Year

BEYONCÉ – SORRY

BIG SEAN – BOUNCE BACK

BRUNO MARS   – 24K MAGIC

MIGOS FT. LIL UZI VERT – BAD AND BOUJEE

SOLANGE – CRANES IN THE SKY

 

Video Director of the Year

BENNY BOOM – KEHLANI “CRZY”

BRUNO MARS & JONATHAN LIA – BRUNO MARS “THAT’S WHAT I LIKE”

DIRECTOR X – ZAYN MALIK “LIKE I WOULD”

HYPE WILLIAMS – TYGA “GUCCI SNAKES FT. DESIIGNER”

KAHLIL JOSEPH & BEYONCÉ KNOWLES-CARTER – BEYONCÉ “SORRY”

 

Best New Artist

21 SAVAGE

CARDI B

CHANCE THE RAPPER

KHALID

YOUNG M.A.

 

Album of the Year

24K MAGIC – BRUNO MARS

4 YOUR EYEZ ONLY – J. COLE

A SEAT AT THE TABLE – SOLANGE

COLORING BOOK – CHANCE THE RAPPER

LEMONADE – BEYONCÉ

 

Dr. Bobby Jones Best Gospel/Inspirational Award

CECE WINANS – NEVER HAVE TO BE ALONE

FANTASIA FT. TYE TRIBBETT – I MADE IT

KIRK FRANKLIN FT. SARAH REEVES, TASHA COBBS & TAMELA MANN – MY WORLD NEEDS YOU

LECRAE – CAN’T STOP ME NOW (DESTINATION)

TAMELA MANN – GOD PROVIDES

 

Best Actress

GABRIELLE UNION

ISSA RAE

JANELLE MONÁE

TARAJI P. HENSON

VIOLA DAVIS

 

Best Actor

BRYSHERE Y. GRAY

DENZEL WASHINGTON

DONALD GLOVER

MAHERSHALA ALI

OMARI HARDWICK

 

YoungStars Award

ACE HUNTER

CALEB MCLAUGHLIN

JADEN SMITH

MARSAI MARTIN

YARA SHAHIDI

 

Best Movie

FENCES

GET OUT!

HIDDEN FIGURES

MOONLIGHT

THE BIRTH OF A NATION

 

Sportswoman of the Year Award

GABBY DOUGLAS

SERENA WILLIAMS

SIMONE BILES

SKYLAR DIGGINS

VENUS WILLIAMS

 

Sportsman of the Year Award

CAM NEWTON

LEBRON JAMES

ODELL BECKHAM JR.

RUSSELL WESTBROOK

STEPHEN CURRY

 

Centric Award

FANTASIA – SLEEPING WITH THE ONE I LOVE

KEHLANI – DISTRACTION

MARY J. BLIGE – THICK OF IT

SOLANGE – CRANES IN THE SKY

SYD – ALL ABOUT ME

YUNA – CRUSH FT. USHER

 

Coca-Cola Viewers’ Choice Award

BEYONCÉ – SORRY

BRUNO MARS – 24K MAGIC

DRAKE – FAKE LOVE

MIGOS FT. LIL UZI VERT – BAD AND BOUJEE

RAE SREMMURD FT. GUCCI MANE – BLACK BEATLES

THE WEEKND FT. DAFT PUNK – STARBOY

 

Best International Act: Africa

AKA (South Africa)

BABES WODUMO (South Africa)

DAVIDO (Nigeria)

NASTY C (South Africa)

STONEBWOY (Ghana)

TEKNO (Nigeria)

WIZKID (Nigeria)

MR EAZI (Nigeria)

 

Best International Act: Europe

BOOBA (France)

MHD (France)

CRAIG DAVID (UK)

EMELI SANDE (UK)

GIGGS (UK)

SKEPTA (UK)

STORMZY (UK)

WILEY (UK)

 

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