Mbogi Genje bags coveted top prize at Kisima Awards

Alice Kidong ,Grace Karuga

Kenya Film And Classification Board CEO Ezekiel Mutua presents an award to Alice Kidong and Grace Karuga during the  Kisima awards ceremony in Nairobi on Sunday.

Photo credit: Anthony Njagi | Nation Media Group

When the last Kisima Awards was held, the country had never heard of Gengetone. Fast forward to 2020 and Sheng masters Mbogi Genje who no one had ever had about until this year, on Sunday beat afro-pop band Sauti Sol to win the coveted music Group of The Year award at the 2020 Pan African Kisima Awards.

Kisima Music and Film Awards is one of the oldest annual talent awards programme in the country, and it made its come-back after a seven-year break.

This year’s edition was held on December 13 at the Sarit Centre in Nairobi with Nation Media Group as its official media partner.

The theme of the annual event was “Reawakening the soul, spirit and vibrancy of the African music and film industry”.

Gengetone was birthed in 2019 and has since seen the new music genre that almost everyone is jamming to, become Kenya’s newest love in the music industry.

The news about the Ngumi Mbwegze hitmakers win caught many by surprise as they only shot to fame this year. The singers were nominated alongside, Sauti Sol, Diamond (Tanzania), Meddy (Burundi) and Daddy Andre (Uganda).

Excitement

The group expressed their excitement on the win and thanked their fans saying they were their biggest strength.

“When we saw that we had been nominated alongside this big names we got very excited because this is part of the dream we have been waiting for. This shows that our music is making history. We aim to even get a nomination for the BET Awards in the near future,” said Militan, one of the group members.

Sauti Sol walked home with the Album of the Year award for Midnight Train. The Award for the Song of the Year West Africa was Duduke by Simi from Nigeria and she also won the Female artist/ Group of the year Africa.

The event was graced by Devolution Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa who said: “We are fighting the Covid-19 pandemic and the Government will continue to support talent development across the country and the continent.”

Kenya Film Classification Board (KFCB) CEO Dr Ezekiel Mutua awarded Sh1 million to Zamaradi Media, who are creators, producers and multi-platform distributors of quality African entertainment content saying that it was KFCB’s part of their efforts to promote child-friendly content and also encourage compliance with content regulation and procedures including adherence to film licensing and classification guidelines.

Four awards

Kenyan film 40 Sticks, which is currently streaming on Netflix, had a big weekend outing after it bagged four awards at Kisima, just a day after it carried the day at the Kalasha International Film and TV Awards gala with nine wins as they celebrated 10 years since the gala was launched.

The drama action film swept the board at the expense of Sincerely Daisy, Midlife Crisis, Family Meeting and Uradi, and won in the Best Sound Design, Best Supporting Actor in a Film, Best Editor, Best Special Effects, Best Original Score, Best Original Screenplay, Best Lighting and Best Production Designer.

Kenya Film Commission (KFC) awarded Sh3 million prize money to the winners of the 10th edition with each category winner receiving Sh100,000 prize money in addition to a trophy; an increase from Sh50,000 last year.

Kalasha Awards is an annual event that recognises and celebrates exceptional talent in the film and TV industry in Kenya.

Speaking at the event, KFC chief executive officer Mr Timothy Owase said a total of 1,036 entries were received.

ICT Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru who was the chief guest challenged Kenyan filmmakers to take advantage of his ministry's innovation measures to improve the sector.

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