One of the most eagerly anticipated music industry award ceremonies of the year, the Channel O Africa Music Video Awards has been put on ice because of a lack of sponsorship, the channel revealed this week. The award ceremony is normally held in Johannesburg, South Africa at the end of the year and has been running since 2005, celebrating the best in African music and music videos.
The decision to cancel the awards follows an announcement in March this year that Channel O would be cutting its services to Africa, leaving many fans fearing that the future of the popular Channel O African Music Awards might be in jeopardy. These fears have turned out to be justified.
But the channel has come out to reassure it's fans that the awards are not dead and buried and will hopefully make a return next year. "At this stage the award has not been cancelled but have rather been postponed," Channel O publicist Nondumiso Mabece told The Juice. "We need to finalise some details around the awards but will communicate the new dates for the show quite soon," she added.
“As one can imagine, putting together an awards ceremony of that magnitude every year relies on sponsors coming on board… If we can secure funding then there’s no reason why the Channel O Awards shouldn’t continue,” said Mabece.
Local industry players have expressed their disappointment that the event will not be held. Ghetto Ruff boss Lance Stehr told the Sowetan: "That's so sad. We knew every year that the industry would gather at the Channel O Awards to honour and celebrate… I would have thought that with its budget, DStv would keep the awards as part of its ongoing strategy.”
Kentridge Tlale from Gallo added: “It’s unfortunate because it’ll affect African music as a whole. It was a platform where we were introduced to other styles and cultures from the continent and the diaspora.”
DJ Black Coffee also told the Sowetan: "I commend them for rather not hosting them than hosting them and they are a joke. They have set a high standard and they have to keep them there."