Kudos for the effort

My landlord on this page, Akuchimuna James Chavula, has been kind enough to allow me to make the first entry on this space in the year 2019. That privilege and honour is not something I take for granted.

Knowing what he is, he must be burning inside with the eagerness and hunger to weigh in on one or two issues and happenings during the close of the year 2018. During the festive season, so many events take place on the arts and entertainment scene, in the process providing plenty of fodder for one to feast on.

Surprisingly he has allowed this opportunity to pass. Is it the way people grow up? I do not want to think so. Is his passion in arts and entertainment waning? I do not think so either. Whatever reason that has kept him away from the This and That hat, is welcome to me. I owe you one Akuchimuna.

The curtain on what was the year 2018 came down on Monday. It was quite an eventful year. Some will look back proudly for managing to get one or two things right. And yet, some will be cursing themselves from the reflections of their contributions in the past year.

But here we are: it is another opportunity to start it all over again, a chance to make use of the misses and lessons to improve our craft for the better. For those who managed to meet their targets and expectations, you will not do yourself good if you sit on your laurels. Build on your success and do not let the sky to be your limit.

One of the most notable events that took place towards the very end of 2018 is the Urban Music People’s (UMP) awards. The awards are a celebration of urban music, fashion and lifestyle. A series of events have taken place preceding the actual awards ceremony.

The UMP season included the announcement of new fashion categories under their portifolio. Designer of the year, model of the year (both male and female), best new designer, most stylish celebrity and fashion icon awards were given out on October 6 during the Mzuzu Fashion Week.

Members of the media who have done outstandingly well in helping promote the urban music culture were also recognised and duly rewarded during the course of the UMP season. Quite encouraging and commendable. 

The organisers indicated they want to grow the awards as much as they can to reach out to a much larger catchment area going by the growth they have achieved during the nine years of existence. On the cards they say is the introduction of sports awards. We hope it is soon.

In the aftermath of the real awards, which took place at Robin’s Park in Blantyre on the evening of Saturday December 29, there has been so much talk bordering on how the awards were conducted. A majority have not missed the opportunity to weigh in on what they feel would have best passed as the perfect music awards. 

Granted: it may not have been the most ideal of events but to entirely dismiss the whole process as false will be going a little too far and unjust on the individuals who sacrifice their time and resources to make such a ceremony happen.

These are people who are being driven by nothing but their passion on music. The least they deserve is that kind of destructive criticism that will make their whole effort feel worthless. They need to be encouraged and supported through partnerships at various levels of their organisation.

Elsewhere such award ceremonies mean everything and they are held in high esteem by both the awardees and interested individuals and stakeholders. Though it took us so long as a country to have in place our own establishments of that nature, at least now we have something to show for.

Let individuals and organisation who feel have the necessary know-how come in and join forces with the UMP guys and work on refining the structures that have already been set in place. As for me, all I have is admiration for their effort. I hope they continue to grow and improve.

2019, let us go! n  

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