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MTV Africa Music Awards Announces Top 20 'Listener's Choice' Finalists

MTV Africa Music Awards Announces Top 20 'Listeners' Choice' Finalists

Focalistic, Tiwa Savage, DBN Gogo and more score a spot on the nominees list for the 'Listener's Choice' award at the 2021 MAMAs.

The 2021 MTV Africa Music Awards (MAMAs) have released the first round of finalists for the exciting "Listeners' Choice" category. Twenty artists from 18 different African countries have made the first round of finalists, making it a highly contested category. South African artist Focalistic has secured a spot along with Durban's favourite female beat dropper, DBN Gogo and DJ Dinho. Nigerian songstress Tiwa Savage has also made it as a finalist alongside several other artists from across the continent.


Read: Here Are the 2021 MTV Africa Music Awards Nominees

Focalistic is known for his genre-bending music with his fusion of amapiano with rap. He collaborated with music heavyweight Riky Rick on the cult hit single "Ungazincishe". Focalistic dropped his highly-anticipated EP Sghubu Ses Excellent last year in December and cemented his place on South Africa's music scene. On the other hand, DJs DBN Gogo and Dinho are known for their energetic and vibrant dance sets which can keep a party going until dawn.

The 2021 MAMAs have reportedly stated that the "Listeners' Choice" award will give music fans the opportunity to have their voices heard. The majority of finalists in this category was determined by votes on local radio stations and social media, selecting the best publicly-voted musicians from different African countries. The "Listeners' Choice" award ensures that the voices of music lovers across the diverse countries on the continent are recognised," says Monde Twala, Senior Vice President and General Manager at ViacomCBS Networks Africa (VCNA) in a press statement.

Music fans still have the opportunity to vote for the favourites with voting officially closing on January 31st. The MAMAs will be held virtually in Kampala, Uganda on February 20th and according to Variety, will be hosted by the inimitable DJ Khaled.

Here's a full list of nominees for the MTV Africa Music Awards Kampala 2021 "Listeners' Choice" category:

Anna Joyce (Angola)
ASAPH (Zimbabwe)
Dagi D (Ethiopia)
DBN Gogo & DJ Dinho (South Africa)
Didi B (Cote D'Ivoire)
Drizilik (Sierra Leone)
Focalistic (South Africa)
Khaligraph Jones (Kenya)
Locko (Cameroon)
Malome Vector (Lesotho)
Meddy (Rwanda)
Mohamed Ramadan (Egypt)
Ngaaka Blindé (Senegal)
Pallaso (Uganda)
Rayvanny (Tanzania)
Sarkodie (Ghana)
Shirazee (Benin)
Slick Stuart & DJ Roja (Uganda)
Souhila Ben Lachhab (Algeria)
Tiwa Savage (Nigeria)

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Photo by NurPhoto via Getty Images.

A Year After #EndSARS, Nigerian Youth Maintain That Nothing Has Changed

Despite the disbandment of the SARS units, young Nigerians are still being treated as criminals. We talk to several of them about their experiences since the #EndSARS protests.

On September 12th, Tobe, a 22-year-old student at the University of Nigeria's Enugu Campus was on his way to Shoprite to hang out with his friends when the tricycle he had boarded was stopped by policemen. At first, Tobe thought they were about to check the driver's documents, but he was wrong. "An officer told me to come down, he started searching me like I was a criminal and told me to pull down my trousers, I was so scared that my mind was racing in different ways, I wasn't wearing anything flashy nor did I have an iPhone or dreads — things they would use to describe me as a yahoo boy," he says.

They couldn't find anything on him and when he tried to defend himself, claiming he had rights, one of the police officers slapped him. "I fell to the ground sobbing but they dragged me by the waist and took me to their van where they collected everything including my phone and the 8,000 Naira I was with."

Luckily for Tobe, they let him go free after 2 hours. "They set me free because they caught another pack of boys who were in a Venza car, but they didn't give me my money completely, they gave me 2,000 Naira for my transport," he says.

It's no news that thousands of Nigerian youth have witnessed incidents like Tobe's — many more worse than his. It's this helpless and seemingly unsolvable situation which prompted the #EndSARS protests. Sparked after a viral video of a man who was shot just because he was driving an SUV and was mistaken as a yahoo boy, the #EndSARS protests saw millions of young Nigerians across several states of the country come out of their homes and march against a system has killed unfathomable numbers of people for invalid or plain stupid reasons. The protests started on October 6th, 2020 and came to a seize after a tragedy struck on October 20th of the same year.

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