MTV Africa Music Awards

The MTV Africa Music Awards (also known as the MAMAs) were established in 2008 by MTV Networks Africa (now Viacom International Media Networks Africa) to celebrate the most popular contemporary music in Africa. The 2008 and 2010 events took place in Nigeria, first in Abuja and then in Lagos. The 2009 event happened in Nairobi, capital of Kenya.

MTV Africa Music Awards
MTV Africa Music Awards 2016
Awarded forMusic and pop culture
CountryCountries of Africa
Presented byMTV
First awarded2008

After these three initial events, the award had a 3-year hiatus, returning only in 2014 in Durban, South Africa. The next two events were also hosted in the same country: 2015 in Durban; 2016 in Johannesburg.[1]

In 2017 the popular award didn't hold again.[2]


The MTV Africa Music Awards was conceived and created by the SVP and MD of the MTV Networks in Africa, Alex Okosi. Earlier, African artists had been included in the MTV Europe Music Award where MTV Base Africa viewers voted for Best African artist in the 2006 and 2007[3] MTV Europe Music Awards.

The first awards show was held at the Velodrome, Abuja in Nigeria on 22 November 2008 and was broadcast around the world on November 29 in conjunction with Airtel and local television channels in Africa.[4] The show was hosted by Trevor Nelson.[5] The awards were preceded by four concerts celebrating the musicians nominated for the awards. There were concerts featuring international and local nominees, which took place in Johannesburg, South Africa on November 5, Nairobi, Kenya on November 9, the Democratic Republic of the Congo on November 13 and Lagos, Nigeria on November 15, 2008.[6] The Award categories included Artist of the Year, Best Alternative, Best Female, Best Group, Best Hip-Hop, Best Live Performance, Best Male, Best New Act, Best R&B, Video of the Year and the MY Video Award which allows viewers to make their own version of a music video.

The 2009 event took place in Nairobi, Kenya at the Moi International Sports Centre in October 2009.[7] In 2010, the awards were again held in Nigeria, at Eko Expo Hall in Lagos. This year, some award categories were to better reflect the music of the entire continent, hence creating awards for Best Anglophone, Best Lusophone and Best Francophone artists.

After a 3-year hiatus (2011, 2012 and 2013), Viacom International Media Networks Africa announced that the MTV Africa Music Awards would return on 7 June 2014. The fifth event took place at the ICC, Durban, KwaZulu-Natal on 18 July 2015, and on 23 August 2016 it was announced that the sixth edition of the MTV Africa Music Awards would take place in Johannesburg, South Africa on 22 October 2016 at the Ticketpro Dome.[8]

In 2017 the popular award didn't hold again. Alex Okosi, Executive Vice President of Viacom International Media Network Africa said the company is working to reinvent the MAMA to create a deeper music experience for the 2018 edition of the award.[9]

Host CitiesEdit

Locations of the MTV Africa Music Awards ceremonies.
Year Country Host city Venue Host(s)
2008 Nigeria Abuja Velodrome Trevor Nelson
2009 Kenya Nairobi Moi International Sports Centre Wyclef Jean
2010 Nigeria Lagos Eko Expo Hall Eve
2014 South Africa Durban ICC Durban Arena Marlon Wayans
2015 South Africa Durban ICC Durban Arena Anthony Anderson
2016 South Africa Johannesburg Ticketpro Dome Bonang Matheba, Yemi Alade and Nomzamo Mbatha

Current Award CategoriesEdit

  • Artist of the Year
  • Best Male
  • Best Female
  • Best New Act
  • Best Group
  • Best Live Act
  • Best Francophone
  • Best Lusophone
  • Best Pop/Alternative
  • Best Hip Hop
  • Best International
  • Legend Award
  • Best Collaboration in association with Absolut
  • Video of the Year
  • Song of the Year
  • Artist of the Year
  • Personality of the Year
  • MTV Base Africa Re-Imagined Award

Past Award winnersEdit




  • Best Anglophone – Daddy Owen (Kenya)
  • Best Francophone – Fally Ipupa (DRC)
  • Best Lusophone – Cabo Snoop (Angola)
  • Artist of the Year – 2Face (Nigeria)
  • Best Female – Sasha (Nigeria)
  • Best Male – 2Face (Nigeria)
  • Best Video – Fally Ipupa (DRC): “Sexy Dance”
  • Best Group – P-Square (Nigeria)
  • Brand New Act - Mo'Cheddah (Nigeria)
  • Best Performance – Big Nuz (South Africa)
  • Song of the Year – Liquideep (South Africa): “Fairytale”
  • MAMA Legend – Miriam Makeba (South Africa)
  • Best International – Eminem (USA)




  • Best Live Act – Cassper Nyovest (South Africa)
  • Best Lusophone – C4 Pedro (Angola)
  • Legend Award – Hugh Masekela (South Africa)
  • Best Female Award – Yemi Alade (Nigeria)
  • Best Francophone Award – Serge Beynaud (Ivory Coast)
  • Best Group – Sauti Sol (Kenya)
  • Best Pop & Alternative – Kyle Deutsch & Shekhinah (South Africa)
  • Best International Act – Drake (Canada)
  • Best Male Act – Wizkid (Nigeria)
  • Listeners Choice – Jah Prayzah (Zimbabwe)
  • Video of the Year – Youssoupha Niguer Ma Vie (Congo)
  • Best Collaboration – DJ Maphorisa ft Wizkid & DJ Bucks (South Africa & Nigeria)
  • Personality of the Year – Caster Semenya (South Africa)
  • Best Hip Hop – Emtee (South Africa)
  • Best New Act – Tekno (Nigeria)
  • Song of the Year – Patoranking ft Wande Coal (Nigeria)
  • Artiste of the Year – Wizkid (Nigeria)

External linksEdit


  1. ^ Joey Akan (2017-12-20). Retrieved 2018-03-10. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  2. ^ Joey Akan (2017-12-20). Retrieved 2018-03-10. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  3. ^ Samini nominated for MTV Best African Artists Archived 2007-10-08 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ MTV AFRICA MUSIC AWARDS Archived 2008-10-09 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ Trevor Nelson to host MTV Africa music awards with Airtel Archived 2009-01-11 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ MTV Music Awards Launches In Africa
  7. ^ The Standard, April 16, 2009: Kenya to host prestigious MTV Africa Awards
  8. ^ "TimesLIVE". Retrieved 2017-07-13.
  9. ^ Joey Akan (2017-12-20). Retrieved 2018-03-10. Missing or empty |title= (help)