The MOBO Awards Recognise International Urban Music

Fuse ODG wins Best African Act

Monday, 21 October 2013 17:11
Fuse ODG
Fuse ODG

The annual Music of the Black Origin (MOBO) Awards premiered last Saturday at the Hydro in Glasgow, Scotland. The event celebrated its 18th year recognising international, urban music. Though South African artists who were nominated didn't leave the arena with any gongs, the night acknowledged the success of many hailing from the African continent.

The night seemed to be a UK take-over: According to the Daily Mail, the big awards went to the likes of Laura Mvula, Naughty Boy and Tinie Tempah, while Craig David announced his return to the music scene. Even Kendrick Lamar from the US made noise when he scooped up the best international act – seeing off Justin Timberlake, Robin Thicke and Kanye West.

But African artists found a place in the category for Best African Act: Liquideep, Mafikizolo, and Spoek Mathambo represented South Africa, while others nominated included Ghanaian artist Atumpan, Nigerian-born Bombino, Ice Prince, Tiwa Savage, WizKid, and Seun Kuti.

It was Ghanaian-born afrobeat singer Fuse ODG who ultimately won. According to MOBO News, the "Antenna" singer told the audience in his acceptance speech that he "makes music to change the perception of Africa and what the media doesn't show."

There were high hopes for a South African winner this year. Last month, Mafikizolo's Kgosinkwe spoke with Rolling Stone after finding out about their MOBO nomination, "We are so honoured to be considered in the Best African Act category [and] we are proud to represent South Africa and the African continent."

But don't stress: Mafikizolo and many other South African acts can represent South Africa at the 10th annual Channel O Africa Music Video Awards premiering on Saturday, 30 November. Mafikizolo's Khona is up for Most Gifted Video of the Year as well as Most Gifted Dance Video. Moneoa (Is'Bhanxa) and Idol Season 8 winner Khaya Mthethwa (Move) are nominated for Most Gifted Newcomer. Zonke (Feelings) and Toya DeLazy (Heart) are up for Most Gifted Female and Donald (Over The Moon) is nominated for Most Gifted Male.

Regardless of the outcome, the recognition from both award ceremonies provides a brilliant glimpse into the diversity of sounds that currently defines Africa's music scene.


Full List of Winners from the 18th Annual MOBO Awards

Best African Act – Fuse ODG
Best Album – 'Home', Rudimental
Best Female in association with Tresor Paris – Laura Mvula
Best Gospel – Lurine Cato
Best International Act – Kendrick Lamar
Best Jazz – Sons of Kemet
Best Male – Wiley
Best Newcomer in association with HTC – Krept & Konan
Best Reggae Act – Sean Paul
Best RnB/Soul Act – Laura Mvula
Best Song in association with PRSforMusic – 'La La La', Naughty Boy
Best UK Hip Hop/Grime – Tinie Tempah
Best Video in association with SBTV – 'La La La', Naughty Boy
Be MOBO – Stephen Lawrence Trust

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