The first edition of the HiPipo Music Awards (HMA), held at theatre Labonita on Saturday evening, was a mixture of fun and surprises – and learning experiences for the organizers.
They came at a time when the industry struggled for a defining awards ceremony, after The Pearl of Africa Music (PAM) awards vanished from the 2012 calendar. Therefore the musicians and music lovers have high expectations from HMA. By 6pm fans had started arriving to a red carpet and refreshments from Pepsi, the sponsors.
It was not until three hours later that Drummex Band kicked off the night with the national and Buganda anthems.
Perhaps the biggest surprise of the night was in the Gospel song category. Emron and Sizzaman’s Bodyguard won the accolade beating Pastor Wilson Bugembe’s Biribabitya and entries from Julie Mutesasira, Jackie Ssenyonjo and Coopy Bly.
Rema was, by far, the biggest winner of the night, her hit Oli Wange taking four awards. The fifth came from her collabo with Bebe Cool (Missing you). Rema beat stiff competition from big names like Juliana Kanyomozi, Iryn Namubiru, Grace Nakimera and Keko to become the best female artiste.
Matthias Walukagga and Navio walked away with three awards each.
On the night
Navio put on the most electrifying performance, getting revellers on their feet with Ngalo and One and only. Rema serenaded us with her vocals performing Oli wange . Mr Woods wasn’t at his usual best while Shamim of Maisha dancers should stick to what she does best – dancing not singing.
Daxx Kurtel arrived in a wheel barrow while Vampino, no matter how high on substance he is, never fails to deliver.
Ugandan musicians need to step up and be part of whatever supports the industry. Missing in action were the big names like Jose Chameleone, Bobi Wine, Bugembe, Chris Evans, Young Zee among others nominees. Bebe Cool dropped his wife Zuena and walked away so missed receiving his award for Artiste of the year.
Being a performer, Naava Grey tried her best, but her ‘marriage’ with Meddie Kimbugwe lacked a spark as they struggled to coordinate. However, the chemistry caught on towards the end.
In his closing remarks, Uptime Solutions’ Managing Director, Tonny Miiro, acknowledged the successes and short-falls and promised even bigger and better things in the years to come.
Winners of the various categories
1. Artist of the Year - Bebe Cool
2. Best Male Artist - Mathias Walukaga
3. Best Female Artist - Rema
4. Best Breakthrough Artist - Rema
5. Best Artist in Diaspora - Fyonna Nsubuga
6. Best Artist on Social Media - Navio
7. Best Young/Teen Artist - Young Zee
8. Best On Stage Performer - Vampino
9. Best Audio Producer - Hannz Tactiq
10. Best Video Producer Seasons - Kim/XP
11. Album of the Year - Book of Kirya by Maurice Kirya
12. Video of the Year - One and Only By Navio
13. Song of the Year - Bakoowu by Mathias Walukaga
14. Best Hip Hop Song - One and Only By Navio
15. Best R&B Song - Oli Wange by Rema
16. Best Ragga-dancehall Song - Tebakusobola by Yung Mulo
17. Best Reggae Song - Missing you by Bebe Cool and Rema
18. Best Gospel Song - Body Guard by Emron and Sizzaman
19. Best Band Song - Bwolonda by Chris Evans
20. Best Kadongo Kamu Song - Bakoowu by Mathias Walukaga
21. Best Zouk Song - Valu Valu by Jose Chameleone
22. Best Afropop and Soul Song- Zina by Viboyo Ft Vampino and Benon
23. Best Afrobeat Song - Jennifer by Bobi Wine
24.Best HiPipo Charts Artist - Rema