The Celtel Premier Music Awards night held at the National Stadium last Friday 16th December, co-organized by the mobile giants in telecommunication, Celtel, the Premier Media advertising company and the masters of Sierra Leone’s music industry, Cassette Sellers Association (CSA) was indeed a matter of grandeur as thousands of music lovers thronged the stadium to support the more than three dozen musicians and musical groups short listed for the awards competition.
The winners of the various categories each collected Le 4 million, a mobile phone and a shield. This year, it had an international flavour as musicians from la Cote d’Ivoire also formed part of the entertainment gallery as guest artists.
This year’s awards competition was different from previous years because of the involvement of Celtel.
Celtel, which is the major sponsor of the music pageant provided cash incentives to all emerging musicians and groups while they also received the traditional trophies in recognition of their respective contributions to the development of Sierra Leonean music.
Premier Media’s boss, Dr. Julius Spencer explained that the aim of this annual event, which is an epitome of the Grammy and Cora Awards, is to encourage local artists in their contributions to the promotion of the country through music. He said the music industry has contributed a lot in providing source of income and employment for the youths in the country. He noted that the local music industry has grown tremendously with young Sierra Leoneans always showing their talents and as well improving on them.
"We therefore needed to come up with such an event where our local artists will see themselves as being appreciated for their own efforts in contributing to the development of the country," Dr. Spencer said.
The show kicked off about 10:30 p.m with 17 categories, ranging from traditional, reggae, Hip Hop, R&B etc. It started with the traditional category which saw Ngo Gbetuwa, Amie Kallon, Shiek Roberts Samba and Conscious Family locking horns. The Conscious Family emerged in that category with the song title ‘Tangae’.
The rest of the winners and the respective categories went as follows:
Best International- (Music- ‘U na mi best paddy’) by Father Thug
Best Gospel album-(Title-‘Lift Him Higher’) by Gospel Nightingales
Best Islamic album-(Title-‘Leh we lek we sef’) by FIEM
Best Newcomer went to Extra-O
Best Male Vocalist- Sly of Jungle Leaders
Best Reggae song went to- Khady Black
Best Female song went to- Velma of ‘Tutu Party’ fame
Best R&B album went to – Jungle Warriors
Best Male Performer- Abu Yama
Best Female Performer- Willie Jay
Best Single went to- Black and White Society for ‘Sidon wan place’
Best Ragga went to- K-Man
Best Hip Hop- Pupa Bajah and the Baw Waw Society
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Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.