Two Limpopo music awards join forces

Two provincial music awards ceremonies in South Africa’s Limpopo province, a region of impressive cultural diversity that borders on Bostwana, Zimbabwe and Mozambique, are joining forces and will take place on the same night at the same venue. Due to renovations at the Polokwane Library Gardens Auditorium, the BEM LimHop Awards and the #Malwela Music Awards will both take place at the new Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane on Friday 27 November. Both aim to promote the province's up and coming artists, who are often overlooked at higher-profile national and international awards.

Drewski, nominated for Best Single, Best Solo Artist and Best Lyricist at the 2015 BEM LimHop Awards. Photo: Facebook
Drewski, nominated for Best Single, Best Solo Artist and Best Lyricist at the 2015 BEM LimHop Awards. Photo: Facebook

According to a recent statement by the organisers, “Awards do not have to be how we’ve always done them before. We have restructured a collaborative strategy, to empower #Malwela Music Awards and the BEM Hip-Hop Awards. The goal here is to unite the province trough music and musicians in different genres. The BEM LimHop Awards and #Malwela Music Awards will take place on the same date and same venue, where both artists and their fans will become one. After all, we are all one, and therefore focusing on what the whole country desire most, ‘Oneness’, is the most crucial element for the next generation.”

Mirroring the recent successful campaign by rapper Cassper Nyovest to fill up the Ticketpro Dome in Johannesburg, the organisers have started using the hashtag #FillUpPeterMokabaStadium.

The BEM LimHop Awards (BLHA) are an annual hip-hop award ceremony honouring the best hip-hop talent in the province of Limpopo. It is run by the Raymond Shihawu Foundation (RSF). Winners receive a statue called a Baobab. The first award ceremony was held on 30 November 2013 at the Library Auditorium in Polokwane, Limpopo. Voting was open from 14 September and closed at midnight on Sunday 22 November 2015. Categories include Best Single, Best Collaboration, Best Female, Bet Male, Best Solo Artist, Best Mixtape, Best Lyricist, Best Producer, Best Video, Best Rookie, Best Group, Best Model, Best Blog and People’s Champ. Tzaneen-based rapper Rubicon S.O.O.N leads the nominations in the categories Best Single (for 'Cocky'), Best Collaboration, Best Male, Best Solo Artist, Best Rookie and Best Video. Click here for the full list of nominees.

Meanwhile, the second annual #Malwela Music Awards aims to help talented young Limpopo artists in various genres get the exposure they need. According to a statement by the organisers, Hash Tag Malwela Pty Ltd, “We have decided to change the philosophy of focusing on selling and promoting international music. The industry has built itself a model based on trapping local artists so that they couldn’t sell more than international artists. We became ruthless at breaking down that model that devalues local artists and refocusing more of our energy on local talents and music.

“We’ve mandated local people to be part of local successful stories, local music and talents… The reality is if you cannot turn your fans into customers, there’s no way you can sell your music to your fans. By establishing this event, we are turning fans into customers - and the fans understand what it is that they have to do to achieve this… If we are to continue to be a successful country and rich in music, we need to continue supporting local music.”

The #Malwela Music Awards 2015 Nominations Concert took place at the Polokwane Library Gardens Auditorium on 17 July 2015. Artists were nominated according to their hard work as well as their music genres. Categories include Club 86, Gospel, Legends, New Stars and Hustlers Choice. Click here for the full list of nominees.

Some of the artists expected to perform on the day include PLK Pro Twerkers, Troy, Vic-Mash, Goose Gang, MSG, Mloper F, Royal T, Rappy, Haff And KT, Rubicon S.O.O.N, and others.

The twin award ceremonies take place from 10am to 8pm on Friday 27 November at the new Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane. No tickets will be available at the venue and instead need to be booked beforehand (including for nominees). Tickets for the awards and the after party were initially available for R50 (early bird special from June to August) but will now cost you R70, R200 (VIP) or R950 for a Hospitality Package (two VIP tickets plus accommodation).  Fans in Polokwane can buy tickets at Srs Exclusive Store, 53 Schoeman Street. Otherwise for fans outside of town, book you tickets by phoning (+27)73 887 3983.

For more details, visit the #Malwela Music Awards website or Facebook page, and the BEM LimHop Awards website or Facebook page.

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