WINNERS of the third edition of the Ultimate Music Awards (UMAs) will receive money for the first time as part of their prizes next week.
The UMAs are the brainchild of Ultimate FM radio station aimed at recognising and rewarding outstanding local artistes in various categories.
Ultimate FM Station Director, ‘Mabatho Lithebe, said they had set out to improve the awards every year hence the prize money for this year’s winners which had been availed by corporate sponsors.
The awards were sponsored by Econet Telecom Lesotho, Standard Lesotho Bank, Rock The City SA, Metropolitan Lesotho, Alliance Insurance, LSP Construction, Blackmix Lesotho, Braykthru Media, Dream Wedding, M&A Security, Lesotho Flour Mills and UNESCO.
“We are pleased to announce that this year we will be able to give prize money which we failed to provide in the past,” Lithebe said.
“In the past two editions we only managed to offer a trophy and other equipment such as mini studios but this year we are humbled by the support from different companies for it is through them that the prize money will be available,” she said.
She said the UMAs were part of the national radio station’s continuing efforts to uplift local musicians who “continue to excel even in the dire conditions of their industry”.
“It is also through this initiative that we advocate for international platforms and appreciation of local artistes for we Basotho often value foreign acts more than our own,” she said.
Meanwhile, the third instalment of the UMAs lived up to expectations before a packed ‘Manthabiseng Convention Centre on Saturday night. Communications Minister Serialong Qoo, the ministry’s Principal Secretary Tšeliso Khomari and former minister Khotso Letsatsi graced the event.
This was the first time that the crowning ceremony was held indoors and there was glitz and glamour with the dressed-to-kill stars receiving a red-carpet reception upon arrival. A big projection screen followed their every move and displayed the names of the nominees in the 13 categories.
South African-based rapper J Cob won the Song of the Year award for the second year running, L-Tore won the Best Hip Hop and Best Compilation award and veteran Famo musician Phau Manyetse bagged the Lifetime Achiever award.
Other winners were Titos Da DJ (Dance Album), Cablo Nice (Kwaito Album), Stlofa (Urban Contemporary), Malehlohonolo Mphou (Gospel Album), Tsiee (Afro Pop) Khothometsane ea Motse (Famo), Mamello Rabochene (Music Video), Lakabane (NewComer), Zagro DJs (Producer) and Ballopolloa Ba Morena (International Breakthrough).
J Cob told the Weekender on the sidelines of the event that he was honoured by the recognition which showed that Basotho still loved his music “even though I do not get to perform in the country on regular basis”.
“I cannot find proper words to show my gratitude to local fans for their undying support.
“I would also like to thank government for their efforts to uplift the local music industry through Ultimate FM for the awards serve as an important reference on the international platform,” he said.
There were top quality live performances by local and South African artistes. Khotso Ntlama, Mapanaki, Mega Hertz, MIP, Juvy, Heart Breakers and Maleh had the crowd eating out their hands along with South Africa’s Robbie Malinga, Musa and Tuks.
The same artistes also performed at the after-party which continued into the early hours of Sunday morning along with the likes of Rock The City SA’s Mono T, SdudlaNoma1000, DJ SK, Lyquid, Mono T and DJ Vesta.