MTV postpones Africa Music Awards due to “Uganda’s political instability”
The 2021 MTV Africa Music Awards (MAMA) in Kampala, Uganda have been postponed.
Organizers of the awards announced the new developments via the MTV Base twitter account. No explanation has been given on why the awards have been shifted.
“MTV Base is postponing the 2021 MTV Africa Music Awards. We will keep fans updated as we have more news,” read the tweet.
The Kampala edition was set to be the first after the awards took a break in 2016 with the last ceremony being held in South Africa.
CNN has reported that the reason for the postponement is due to an online campaign urging MTV Base to cancel the show over allegations of human rights abuses by the Ugandan government.
This comes after presidential candidate Bobi Wine’s team released a report documenting the alleged abuses.
“It was painful to see MTV was being used to sanitize the oppressive regime here in Uganda. I am glad MTV is also seeing it and acting in respect of all the rights of artists.
“It would be such a shame for the MTV Music Awards to be held in Uganda under gunpoint,” said Wine during a press conference.
However, the communications director of Viacom MTV’s parent company refused to confirm if awards were postponed for that reason he said, “We have nothing further to add.”
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.
Human rights activist and founder of Vanguard Africa, Jeffrey Smith said: “Now is not the time to #VisitUganda, nor to hold the #MTVMAMA’s, which is being organized by @MTVBaseAfrica to “celebrate” art and free expression. Meanwhile in #Uganda: Stella Nyanzi (poet) is in exile; Nubian Lee (musicians) is jailed; and Bobi Wine (musician) is barred from performing.”