Thabane rules the roost at UMA

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Mamohlakola Letuka

AFRO Jazz sensation Selimo Thabane scooped five awards at the colourful 4th Ultimate Music Awards that were held on Saturday at Manthabiseng Convention Centre Maseru.

The Ultimate Radio, recognises and honours outstanding achievements.

The UMAs were introduced in 2014 with the aim of rewarding outstanding music artistes and motivating others to work harder.

The awards are divided in the categories of Best Hip-Hop artiste, Best Music Video, Best Gospel artiste, Best Urban Contemporary, Best Newcomer, Best International Breakthrough, Best Producer, Best Collaboration, Best Famo, Best Dance Album, Best Female artiste, Best Kwaito, Lifetime Achievement and Song of the Year.

Thabane walked away with the Best Collaboration award for his song, Koli-a-Malla, featuring Tsepo Tshola. He also scooped the Best Male, Best International Breakthrough, Best Afro-Pop and Song of the Year awards.

The excited singer was at a loss for words afterwards, saying the awards were testimony that hard work pays.

He dedicated his success to his fans, promising to slaughter a cow to celebrate.

“Today is a big day for me and my band and the awards are a testimony to the notion that hard work pays,” Thabane said.

The colourful event was attended Communications minister, Joang Molapo, who pledged government’s commitment to investing more into music and the arts sector to alleviate the challenge of unemployment.

He said that they had already started planning for next year’s awards, which would be bigger and better.

He said the arts sector had be shown to contribute to economic development as demonstrated by Nigeria’s Nollywood which had grown from a small into a multimillion dollar industry.

One of the judges, Bokang Bane, said they were satisfied with the quality of the entries for this year’s competition.

“We were very pleased by the authenticity of the submitted music in each category. We believe this shows growth and improvement in our local music and the fact that they have seen the importance of these awards.

“Artist should not disappear after winning as has been the case in previous years. The awards should symbolise the growth of the career and not to kill it,” Bane said.

Other winners included TJ Nthane (Famo), Phoka Matete (Best Producer), Tito’s the DJ (Best Dance), Switchman (Best Urban Contemporary), Cablo Nice (Best Kwaito), Malehlohonolo Mphou (Gospel Album and Best Female artiste), Bible Verse (Best Hip Pop), Linkeng (Best Music Video), Snurd (Best Newcomer) and Chaka Nkofu (Lifetime Achievement).

The event was hosted by Ms Kiva and Kaofela. The likes of Juvy, Mookho Moqhali, Stlofa, Heartbreakers Dance Group and Malimo Cultural Group all captivated the audience.

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