By Ahmad Muto
Grammy Award nominee Eddy Kenzo; sensational dance group the Triplets Ghetto Kids and socialite Zari Hassan have kicked off the year 2023 with an award each.
Kenzo scooped the accolade for Best Male Artiste in East, South and North Africa at the African Entertainment Awards, USA (AEUSA).
The Jubilation singer shared the news with his fans on social media with such enthusiasm, that one would not be faulted for thinking it was his first award.
“What a beautiful way to end 2022 and start 2023. We are the Best Male Artist – East/South/North Africa we thank you @aeausa for the recognition. Happy new year my people I wish you all a lot of wins,” he wrote.
Kenzo beat off competition from Tamer Hosny (Egypt), Jacky Gosee (Ethiopia), Yared Negu (Ethiopia), Harmonize (Tanzania), OC Osilliation (Zambia), Sami Bey (Morocco), Nordo (Tunisia), Rayvanny (Tanzania), and Chile One Mr. Zambia.
South Africa-based Ugandan socialite Zari Hassan won in the Best Fashion category, beating off competition from Fahyvanny (Tanzania), Yvonne Nelson (Ghanaian), Naya Ashley, Timini Egbuson (Nigeria), Toke Makinwa (Nigeria), Oyama Sivu Dyosiba (South Africa), Huddah Monroe (Kenya), Ebuka Obi-Uchendu (Nigeria) and Kefilwe Faith Mabote (South Africa).
However, she lost in the Social Media category to Michael Blackson (Ghana), with seven others – Adut Akech (South Sudan), Eudoxie Yao (Ivory Coast), Don Jazzy (Nigeria), Onyi Moss (Nigeria), Sarah Langa (South Africa), Lauren Von Der Pool, Krystal Pitt.
The Triplets Ghetto kids won the Best Dancer/Group category, beating off competition from Mishaa, Kamo Mphela (South Africa), Izzy Odigie (Nigeria), Christina A. Gonzalez, Poco Lee (Nigeria), Masaka Kids Africana (Uganda), Fire K Stars (Uganda), and Angel Nyigu (Tanzania).
Meanwhile, video director Sasha Vybz lost in the Video Director of the Year category to TG Omori (Nigeria). The other nominees were Hope Entertainment (Ethiopia), Nkotanyi Frery (Rwanda), Kyle Lewis, Meji Alabi (Nigeria), Director NiCKLASS, Cruel Santino (Nigeria), Enos Olik (Kenya), and Jack Bohloko (South Africa).
Speaking to The Kampala Sun after the list of nominees was unveiled in November 2022, he said: “It’s humbling honestly. I am looking forward to the event. May the best win.”
Spice Diana lost the Best Female Artiste category to Cleo Ice Queen. The other nominees in the category were Kamo Phela (South Africa), Manamba Kante (Guinea), Blanche Bailly (Cameroon), Ayra Starr (Nigeria), Zuchu (Tanzania), Haidy Moussa (Egypt), Tiwa Savage (Nigeria) and Yemi Alade (Nigeria).
Both Azawi and Mudra lost the Best new artiste category to Black Sheriff (Ghana). The other nominees were Asake (Nigeria), Askia (Mali), John Frog (South Sudan), Kamo Mphela (South Africa), Anjella (Tanzania), Okkama (Rwanda), Pabi Cooper (South Africa).
Music producer Nessim lost the Best Producer award to Master KG (South Africa). The other nominees were Soufiane Az (Morocco), GuiltyBeatz (Ghana), Element Eleeeh (Rwanda), Spellz (Nigeria), Masterkraft (Nigeria), Killbeatz (Ghana), DJ Maphorisa (South Africa) and Lizer Classic (Tanzania).
Fashion designer Anita Beryl lost the Fashion Designer Category to Sima Brew (Ghana). The other nominees were Sonia Mugabo (Rwanda), Ilyes Ouali (Algeria), Sarah Diouf (Senegal), Thebe Magugu (South Africa), Theodore Elyett, Mayada Adil (Sudan), Jin Forde and Anifa Mvuemba (Kenya).