Africa: Mama Awards Postponed –

The MTV Africa Music Awards (MAMA) that were expected to be held in Uganda this month have been postponed.

Uganda Tourism Board chief executive officer Lilly Ajarova yesterday said the postponement was due to Internet “issues” and the coronavirus pandemic.

“There was a discussion about the postponement of the event. We still have issues with the Internet yet the event is supposed to be virtual. There was an issue of coronavirus,” Ms Ajarova said.

Uganda blocked social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, and later shut down the Internet on allegations that communications during the 2021 General Election last month would endanger security.

Internet has since been restored but social media platforms remain closed.

Human rights activists have been using social media to attack MTV Africa for hosting a continental event in Uganda when several musicians, including former presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi, alias Bobi Wine, cannot be allowed to stage performances.

“MTV Base is postponing the 2021. MTV Africa Music Awards. We will keep fans updated as we have more news,” MTV Base Africa tweeted yesterday.

The awards are intended to showcase creativity and talent of African artistes.

Several Ugandan artistes were nominated in the MAMA awards, including Bebe Cool, Sheebah and Daddy Andre.

Pro-event activists, especially supporters of the National Resistance Movement (NRM), have been promoting it on social media while those against, especially human rights activists and opposition supporters had been lobbying for its cancellation due to violence in the recent general elections. The government allowed the Independence monument in Kampala City to be covered by the MAMA Awards design as a way of promoting the event.