African music awards unveil nominees

Ceremony to take place in Kenya on Oct. 10

JOHANNESBURG -- South Africa and Nigeria lead the nominations list in the second MTV Africa Music Awards (MAMAs) taking place in Kenya on Oct. 10.

South Africa and Nigerian artists received 15 nominations, with Nigerian R&B artist 2Face notching up four MAMA nominations - best male, artist of the year, best video and best R&B. 2Face will be looking to add to his MTV award collection: he was named best African act at the 2005 MTV Europe Music Awards.

He'll also be eyeing a bigger haul than fellow Nigerian D'Banj who was the leading winner at the inaugural MAMAs, taking home best male and artist of the year gongs at the November 2008 event in Abuja, Nigeria.

This year the Afro-beat influenced D'Banj weighs in with three nods for best male, best performer and artist of the year.

South African hip-hop artist HHP is up for best male, artist of the year and best video, while Kenyan hip-hop artist Nameless is in the running for best male, best performer and artist of the year.

South African Afro-soul singer Lira, who is scheduled to perform at the awards, topped the list of female nominees, earning two nods for best female and artist of the year.

Other countries whose artists made an impact were Uganda with three nominations and Tanzania with two. Ghana, Namibia and Mozambique earned one artist nomination apiece.

Five U.S. artists and one British band are also in the running: Kanye West and Jay-Z are up for best hip-hop while Akon and Beyonce received best R&B nominations. Green Day and Coldplay received a nod in the best alternative category which is rounded off by a trio of South African rock bands - aKing, Cassette and Zebra & Giraffe.

The second MTV Africa Music Awards take place at the Indoor Arena, Moi International Sports Complex, Nairobi, Kenya on Oct. 10. The host for the event is Wyclef Jean. Nominees are chosen by a voting academy of 170 music professionals and opinion-makers in 30 sub-Saharan Africa countries and winners are selected through public voting, which is accessible via online or mobile.

For the second year running, the MAMAs are sponsored by Zain, a leading telecommunications operator in the Middle East and Africa.