Monday, September 11, 2006

Maurice enchants at Kisima Awards

MOSES SERUGO & EDGAR R. BATTE

Ugandan crooner Maurice Kirya left a lasting impression at Kenya’s Kisima Music Awards held last Saturday at the Carnivore Grounds. Maurice’s full throttle acoustic guitar performance comprising two songs- Bina Damu and Beera Naabo earned him the loudest ovation. His vocal gymnastics and impeccable guitar-playing got him instant endorsements from high profile guests while others offered as much as Kshs1000 (Shs 25,000) for his promotional CDs. This reception made up for his losing the Best Uganda song award to Chameleone who was a no show. Chameleone also won the Best Ugandan Video award for his song Mama Rhoda that features Tanzania’s Bushoke.

Obsessions, who were lined up to perform at the gala, were absent because the organizers had failed to secure the girl quintet airline tickets in time. Oscar Muwonge, a Best Ugandan Video nominee, made it to the gala in time though for the award show which also features Tanzanian artistes in its catalogue. Kenyan-based radio personalities Seanice Kacungira and Marcus Kwikiriza boosted Uganda’s presence as emcees, a role they shared with Didge, a former Kenyan Project Fame contestant and Pinky, an Asian celebrity.

Nameless was the biggest winner of the night with four trophies. The architect-turned-musician took home the Best Kenyan Male Artiste Award while his runaway hit Sinzia earned him the Best Afro Fusion, Best Kenyan Video and Best Kenyan Song awards.

The hyper Longomba Brothers took home three awards for Best Boomba Group, Best Group Kenya and a social responsibility award. Amani, a bubbly singer was named Best Kenyan Female Artiste the perfect end to her seven-year wait for that particular accolade. She also won the Best Collaboration award for her duet with Nyashinki on the song Bad Boy.

Wyre beat off his East African Bashment Crew [EABC] counterparts Bebe Cool and Nazizi to scoop the Best Raga award. His song Make A Choice beat off the more prolific Fire Anthem. The artiste who sports killer boyish reciprocated his win with a dance infused performance after which he sang a slow-tempo song during which he handed an ecstatic female fan a red rose. EABC suffered another loss when its song Africa Unite lost out the Best Reggae award to Ousmane’s Nuks.

Homeboyz Eric Musyoka beat our own Washington Ebaangit to take the Best East African producer award but the Kenyan producer was booed by his compatriots- a sign that he did not deserve the award.

The award show lived up to its billing as portrayed in its theme this year-our heritage, our splendor. High-energy performances, a display of Kenyan fashion, a fusion of traditional and modern Kenyan music buoyed the gala that was dogged by a biting financial crisis brought on by a lack of big name sponsors to bankroll the event.

The show opened with a breathtaking acrobatic display by Shanglia, a set of youngsters whose founder, the late Anne Wanjugu was given a posthumous Lifetime Achievement Award. A live band backed up most of the night’s performances while awards like Best Asian Music [won by DJ SAK] were testimony to Kenya’s cosmopolitan musical scene.

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