Marlon Wayans to Host MTV Africa Music Awards

Marlon Wayans Headshot - P 2012
Junko Kimura/Getty Images

Marlon Wayans Headshot - P 2012

The MAMAs will air globally as Viacom brings back the awards show after a three-year hiatus to put the spotlight on contemporary artists and musicians from Africa.

MADRID – Viacom-owned MTV is bringing back an African music awards show after a three-year hiatus and is looking to give it a global push.

Marlon Wayans will host the so-called MAMAs, short for the MTV Africa Music Awards, which will be held in the coastal resort of Durban, South Africa, on June 7. They will air globally through a combination of pay TV and terrestrial distribution, according to the company.

Created by African urban music and youth entertainment channel MTV Base, the MAMAs recognize youth culture, music and other standouts from sub-Saharan Africa, rewarding achievement in 18 different categories, including music and Iifestyle.

The awards show was launched in 2008. It last took place in 2010 in Lagos, Nigeria, with Eve as the host.

"We always intended to have the MAMA's in South Africa," said Alex Okosi, SVP and General Manager of VIMN in Africa. "Holding it in South Africa as a pan-African awards show,  celebrating African talent was critical for us as part of our mission in Africa. It took longer than we had anticipated to get the partnerships in place, but we are very happy to have secured them and intend to keep moving the ceremony to celebrate Pan-African  talent."

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While it's primarily a music awards show, organizers say the MAMAs reflect the ambition of MTV Base parent company Viacom and its Viacom International Media Networks Africa arm to support African contemporary artists and musicians. The goal is to present a positive, upbeat and modern image of Africa to Western countries and to inspire young Africans around the world.

Key awards categories include best male artist, best female artist, best collaboration, video of the year, song of the year, personality of the year, and the MTV Base leadership award.

The show will also feature performances from Trey Songz, Miguel and French Montana.

A concert featuring top DJs and nominees from the MAMAs in Lagos on May 30 will cap a pre-show, pan-African music tour, dubbed "Road to MAMA," which started in Tanzania and is ending in South Africa.

This year’s MAMA nominees include Big Nuz (South Africa), Mafikizolo (South Africa), Mi Casa (South Africa), P-Square (Nigeria), Sauti Sol (Kenya,) Anselmo Ralph (Angola), Davido (Nigeria), Diamond (Tanzania), Donald (South Africa), Wizkid (Nigeria),  Arielle T (Gabon), Chidinma (Nigeria), DJ Cndo (South Africa), Efya (Ghana) and Tiwa Savage (Nigeria).