The 2021 MAMAs is in partnership with Uganda, the Pearl of Africa to promote tourism in the East African country.

This event will celebrate and reward musicians, trailblazers, and people who are shining light on the continent’s diverse talent and creativity by instilling a positive impact on African music and youth culture over the year.

This is an A-Z list of everything you need to know about the MAMAs.

A: Abuja

The first edition of the MTV Africa Music Awards was held at the Velodrome in Abuja Nigeria on November 20, 2008.

B: Broadcast

The show will be broadcast on MTV Base (DStv Channel 322) and MTV (DStv Channel 130). The repeat show will also air on BET Africa, BET International and MTV channels across multiple continents as a one-hour MAMA-themed MTV World Stage feature.

C: Categories

There will be twenty award categories at the 2021 MAMAs. Seventeen of the categories will be voted for by fans while the other three are non-voting award categories.

D: Date

The MAMAs will hold on Saturday, February 20, 2021.


The Koko Master is one of three artists with the highest number of awards. In the 2008 edition, he won the Artist of the Year, Best Male Artist, and Listener’s Choice Award. In 2009, he snatched up the Artist of the Year award again. The other artists that have achieved this feat are 2baba and Wizkid.


The city of Durban has hosted the MAMAs twice, in 2014 and 2015. Both editions were held at the ICC Centre in Durban.

E: Eve

The American rapper hosted the 2010 edition of the MAMAs in Lagos.

F: Five

The MTV Africa Music Awards has been on a hiatus for five years. The event was last held in 2016.

G: Golden Microphone

The MTV MAMA Golden Microphone |  Africa News
The MTV MAMA Golden Microphone (Picture: Africa News)

The MAMA’s trophy is called the Golden Microphone because of its shape and color. The Recording Academy has the Grammys and the MTV Africa Music Awards has the Golden Microphone.


South African rapper HHP, gave an outstanding performance in his collaboration with Asa on her hit song Jailer. The song was performed at the 2008 MAMAs where Asa was nominated in the Best New Act category.


Hosting the MAMAs is a big deal. Fans take as much interest in the host as they do the nominees. Audiences had mixed feelings when Bonang Matheba was announced as the host for the 2016 MAMAs. She co-hosted with Nomzamo Mbatha and Yemi Alade.

Bonang Matheba, Nomzamo Mbatha & Yemi Alade.
Bonang Matheba (M) hosting the 2016 MAMAs alongside Nomzamo Mbatha & Yemi Alade (Picture: Courtesy)

I: International Artistes

Asides from the African artists, international artists also perform at the award show. Some of the guest international acts that have graced the MAMAs stage include Miguel, Future, French Montana, Akon, Jhene Aiko, T-Pain, Rick Ross, and many more.

Future Performs At MTV Africa Music Awards 2016 | SEPTIN911
Future Performs At MTV Africa Music Awards 2016 (Picture: SEPTIN911)

J: January

The second round of nominations will be revealed from January 5, 2021, on MTV Base. The categories to be announced include Best Collaboration, Best International, Personality of the Year, Best Alternative Act, Best Fan Base Award and Song of the Year.


Johannesburg was the host city for the 2016 MAMAs. It was held at the TicketPro Dome.

K: Kenya

The 2009 edition was held at the Moi International Sports Centre in Kenya. It was hosted by Wyclef Jean.

L: Lagos

The 2010 edition of the MAMAs was held at the Eko Expo Hall in Lagos.

M: Marlon Wayans

The comedian hosted the 2014 edition of the MAMAs. He gave a lively performance, playing an American reporter who stereotyped African talent during staged interviews.


Although the award and award show is fondly referred to as the MTV MAMA, MAMA means MTV Africa Music Awards.

N: New Categories

The 2021 MAMA features four new exciting award categories:

  1. The MAMA Generation Change Award.
  2. Best Fan Base, for loyal fans who have been the backbone of their favorite artists.
  3. Alone Together Best Lockdown Performance, to reflect on the unique reality of the music industry in 2020.
  4. Best Ugandan Act, to celebrate the host country’s talent.


Nigeria has the highest wins. A total number of 34 as well as the highest number of winners.  Nigeria has also dominated the Artiste of the year award, winning the most sought after award every year.

O: Okosi

Alex Okosi the former Senior Vice President and MD of the MTV Networks Africa was instrumental in creating what we now know as the MTV Africa Music Awards. Before its creation, African artists used to compete in the Best African Artist category at the MTV Europe Music Awards.

P: Performances

The MAMAs are always filled with amazing performances from African acts as well as international stars. The most exciting performances are the surprise collaborations.


Nigerian Duo P-Square have been nominated nine times for the MAMA and they have only won twice. They have also been awarded the Artist of the Decade award in 2015. The award recognized their influence and impact in the African music industry in the past decade.

Q: Q&A

Apart from the actual show itself, another event everyone looks forward to is the Q&A session. The session involves artists from the host country along with top officials from MTV and the host country. Questions from the press and fans concerning the events are answered. It usually follows the announcement of the nominees.

R: Reinvented

After a 5 year hiatus, the 2021 MTV Music Awards has been reinvented. It is now going to be a virtual event.

S: Selection Criteria

The selection criteria for the categories is from October 2019 to October 2020. Artistes submitted their works while a panel sifted through to select the nominees.


The 2021 MTV Africa Music Awards is the seventh edition of the event.

T: Twenty

African acts will compete for various awards across twenty categories including the prestigious Song of the Year and Artist of the Year Awards.

U: Uganda

Uganda is partnering with MTV to host the 2021 MAMAs. According to Godfrey Kiwanda, Ugandan State Minister for Tourism, “This is a wonderful opportunity for global audiences to experience Uganda’s magnificence, the profusion of a brilliant life and diverse natural wildlife, and the vast scale of entertainment, events, art, culture, cuisine, history and shopping.”

V: Virtual

The MAMAs is set to hold in Uganda, however, audiences across Africa will get to experience the event virtually due to COVID-19 regulations.


Voting is now open for seventeen categories excluding the awards for Video of the Year, MAMA Legend Award and Generation Change. The non-voting categories are to be judged by the MTV Music Editorial Team.

W: Wizkid

Wizkid, legendary Nigerian music artist, won three awards at MAMA 2016 |  THE TIMES OF AFRICA
Wizkid, legendary Nigerian music artist, with the most MTV MAMA awards (Picture: THE TIMES OF AFRICA)

Wizkid is one of the artists with the highest number of awards overall. He won the Best Male Act in 2015. In 2016 he won Artist of the Year, Best Male Act, and Best Collaboration for Soweto baby featuring DJ Maphorisa and DJ Bucks.

X: X-Rated

The MAMAs are not X-Rated so you can watch it with all members of your family as long as there is parental guidance for the little ones.

Y: Yemi Alade

Yemi Alade co-hosted the 2015 MAMAs along with Bonang Matheba and Nomzamo Mbatha.

Z: Zenith

Being nominated for a MAMA as an artist means you are currently at the zenith of your career. Artistes that get snubbed usually feel insulted when they do not get nominations.

Source: The Net NG.  Article first appeared here on 28th December, and went down in an unfortunate incident, hence the re upload.
Related: MTV Africa Music Awards enhance Spice Diana – Sauti Sol collaboration