Bulawayo-based rapper ASAPH makes history with MTV Music Awards nomination

BULAWAYO-based rapper Tafadzwa Tarukwana, affectionately known as ASAPH, has made history by being the first hip-hop artist from that city to represent Zimbabwe at the MTV Africa Music Awards.

His name was on the list as the nominees for the MTV Africa Music Awards (MAMAs) were announced ahead of the awards ceremony in Kampala, Uganda, on 20 February.

Years before he started going head to head with some of the country’s heavyweights on the music charts, Asaph was just another struggling young rapper, going head to head with others in Bulawayo’s battle rap scene.

The skills he learnt in the world of battled rap, he admitted, made him all the more sharper when he made it to the recording booth.

“Battle rap helps me stay sharp. It also improves my skills and keeps me hungry. Whenever I enter the recording booth, I always have to believe that no one is better than me. This is because if you’re not convinced that you’re the best then why should anyone else believe you?” he said in a previous interview.

The organisers have introduced two new categories, namely Best Ugandan Act and Alone Together: Best Lockdown Performance. The Best Ugandan Act Award recognises the host country’s rising talent while the Alone Together: Best Lockdown Performance Award aims to reflect on the unique reality of the music scene in 2020.

Voting is under way and the public can vote via the MAMAs official website(link is external).

The 20 February ceremony will be broadcast on MTV Base (DStv Channel 322) and MTV Africa (DStv Channel 130).

This is a dynamic article and the nominees will be released in batches.

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Below is the list of nominees:

Listeners’ Choice

  • Anna Joyce – Angola
  • ASAPH – Zimbabwe
  • Dagi D – Ethiopia
  • DBN Gogo & DJ Dinho – South Africa
  • Didi B – Cote D’Ivoire
  • Drizilik – Sierra Leone
  • Focalistic – South Africa
  • Khaligraph Jones – Kenya
  • Locko – Cameroon
  • Malome Vector – Lesotho
  • Meddy – Rwanda
  • Mohamed Ramadan – Egypt
  • Ngaaka Blindé – Senegal
  • Pallaso – Uganda
  • Rayvanny – Tanzania
  • Sarkodie – Ghana
  • Shirazee – Benin
  • Slick Stuart & DJ Roja – Uganda
  • Souhila Ben Lachhab – Algeria
  • Tiwa Savage – Nigeria

Best Collaboration

  • ‘Shekere’ – Yemi Alade and Angelique Kidjo
  • ‘Jerusalem Remix’ – Burna Boy, Master KG and Nomcebo Zikode
  • ‘Smile’ – Wizkid ft. H.E.R
  • ‘Monsters You Made’ – Burna Boy and Chris Martin
  • ‘Already’ – Beyoncé, Shatta Wale and Major Lazer

Best Alternative

  • Adenkule Gold (Nigeria)
  • Simi (Nigeria)
  • Ami Faku (South Africa)
  • Amaarae (Ghana)
  • Afrotronix (Chad)
  • Matata (Kenya)

Best Fan Base Award

  • Naira Marley (Nigeria)
  • A Reece (South Africa)
  • Wizkid (Nigeria)
  • Eddy Kenzo (Uganda)
  • Diamond Platnumz (Tanzania)
  • Nadia Mukami (Kenya)
  • Cassper Nyovest (South Africa)
  • Serge Beynaud (Ivory Coast)
  • Shatta Wale (Ghana)
  • Fally Ipupa (DRC)

Best International Act

  • The Weeknd (Canada)
  • Da Baby (US)
  • Drake (Canada)
  • Meg Thee Stallion (US)
  • Dj Khaled (US)
  • Beyoncé (US)

Personality of the Year and Song of the Year

  • Siya Kholisi (South Africa)
  • Zozibini Tunzi (South Africa)
  • Sadio Mane (Senegale)
  • Elsa Majimbo (Kenya)
  • Mark Angel (Nigeria)
  • Yvonne Orji (Nigeria)

Song of the Year

  • ‘Mapara A Jazz’ – John Vuli Gate ft. Ntosh Gazi & Colano 
  • ‘Amanikiniki’ – MFR Souls ft. Major League DJs 
  • ‘Jeruselema’ – Master KG ft. Nomcebo Zikode 
  • ‘Suzanne’ – Sauti Sol 
  • ‘Monster You Made’ – Burna Boy ft. Chris Martin 
  • ‘Te Amo’ – Calema 
  • ‘Jeje’ – Diamond Platnumz 
  • ‘Munda Awo’ – B2C Ent 
  • ‘Nobody’ – DJ Neptune ft. Joeboy & Mr Eazi 
  • ‘Fem’ – Davido 
  • ‘Olandi’ – Innoss’B 
  • ‘Duduke’ – Simi 

Best Female

  • Simi (Nigeria)
  • Sheebah (Uganda)
  • Sho Madjozi (South Africa)
  • Busiswa (South Africa)
  • Yemi Alade (Nigeria)
  • Soraia Ramos (Cape Verde)
  • Tiwa Savage (Nigeria)

Best Male

  • Burna Boy (Nigeria)
  • Innoss’B (DRC)
  • Kabza De Small (South Africa)
  • Harmonize (Tanzania)
  • Fireboy DML (Nigeria)
  • Master KG (South Africa)
  • Rema (Nigeria)

 Best Group

  • Blaq Diamond (South Africa)
  • Sauti Sol (Kenya)
  • Kabza De Small/DJ Maphorisa (South Africa)
  • Calema (São Tomé and Príncipe)
  • Ethic (Kenya)
  • Rostam (Tanzania)

 Artist of the Year

  • Burna Boy (Nigeria)
  • Calema (São Tomé and Príncipe)
  • Diamond Platnumz (Tanzania)
  • Master KG (South Africa)
  • Davido (Nigeria)
  • Tiwa Savage (Nigeria)
  • Wizkid (Nigeria)

 Best Breakthrough Act

  • Elaine (South Africa)
  • Tems (Nigeria)
  • Omah Lay (Nigeria)
  • Zuchu (Tanzania)
  • John Blaq (Uganda)
  • Sha Sha (Zimbabwe)
  • Focalistic (South Africa)

 Best Hip Hop 

  • Nasty C (South Africa)
  • Suspect 95 (Cote d’Ivoire)
  • Khaligraph Jones (Kenya)
  • Kwesi Arthur (Ghana)
  • NGA (Angola)
  • OMG (Senegal)

 Best Ugandan Act

  • Sheebah
  • Bebe Cool
  • John Blaq
  • Vinka
  • Daddy Andre
  • Spice Diana

 Best Lusophone Act

  • Calema (São Tomé and Príncipe)
  • Preto Show (Angola)
  • Anna Joyce (Angola)
  • Mr Bow (Mozambique)
  • Nelson Freitas (Cape Verde)
  • Soraia Ramos (Cape Verde)

Best Francophone Act

  • Innoss’B (DRC)
  • Suspect 95 (Cote d’Ivoire)
  • Dip Doundou Guiss (Senegal)
  • Stanley Enow (Cameroon)
  • Fally Ipupa (DRC)
  • Gaz Mawete (DRC)

Alone Together: Best Lockdown Performance

  • Diamond Platnumz (Tanzania) – Africa Day Benefit Concert
  • Black Motion (South Africa) – Red Bull Rendezvous
  • Niniola ft Busiswa (Nigeria/SA) – Africa Day Benefit Concert
  • Singuila (Congo) – DCDR Series
  • AKA (South Africa) – AKA TV
  • Yemi Alade (Nigeria) – Poverty (live session)

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