Winners of the first edition of the Wah Sa Halat Music Awards were announced at a ceremony held at the Kairaba Hotel in Gambia on 30 April.
According to the organisers, the awards were instituted to reward Gambian musicians for their work.
Artists were rewarded in 17 categories, with Bai Babu emerged as the most successful on the night with four trophies. He was named Mbalax Artist of the Year and Rap Mbalax Artist of the Year, while his recent hit ‘Fahass’ won Song of the Year and Music Video of the Year.
The late Musa Afia Ngum was accorded the Special Lifetime Award.
The event was not without controversy. Rapper Gee walked out of the hall, sparking rumours that he was unhappy about the result of the award which were decided by votes, and saw him lose the hip-hop award to OG Log. After the awards he queried the organisers, asking why his collaboration with Nigerian popstar Wizkid failed to be recognised with a nomination.
“The only thing am happy about is that Allah has shown me that my hard work paid off,” Gee’s rival OG Log told an interviewer, “[Also] the support of my family, friends and most importantly, my fans, as I would not have won the award without them. For that I am grateful.
“Gee had his reasons for leaving the hall. The only thing I can say is that, kudos to Yasally Njie, (the awards creator) for this big initiative, and may Allah continue to give her strength to promote the entertainment industry,” he added.
The awards organisers responded to the criticism on Facebook by saying that “It's obvious… that only those who didn't win or were not nominated are making a big deal out of it."
The full list of Wah Sa Halat winners is as follows:
- Male Artist of the Year: ST
- Female Artist of the Year: Sophia
- Song of the Year: 'Fahass' – Bai Babu ft. Barhama
- Music Video of the Year: 'Fahass' – Bai Babu
- Afromanding Artist of the Year: Manding Morry
- Rap-Mbalax Artist of the Year: Bai Babu
- Hip-Hop Artist of the Year: OG Log
- Mbalax Artist of the Year: Bai Babu
- Video Director of the Year: Sheikh Tijan Secka (STS Pictures)
- Music Producer of the Year: C-Man (Stylzz)
- Reggae Artist of the Year: Royal Messenjah
- Dancehall Artist of the Year: Silky Criss
- Collabo of the Year: 'Man of the Year' – Jizzle ft. Artenola
- Upcoming Artist of the Year: A2
- Foreign-based Artist of the Year: Limbo
- Radio Presenter of the Year: DJ Kanu
- Best Fanbase of the Year: Squad Vypa