Shining stars: Hello Uganda, it is time for the real stars in the music industry to stand up. . Lawrence Ogwal writes.
The only entertainment awards that were known in the Uganda Music Industry back then were Pearl of Africa Music Awards (PAM) awards. The awards that were introduced in 2003 lasted only six years.
And in 2008, due to some unclear reason the awards ceased to happen, only to be re-introduced in 2010 and today, only God knows where they are.
Since then, many Entertainment awards have been introduced year in year out. Some of these awards happen once and are never seen again.
One of the awards that seem to be standing the test of time though are the Hipipo Music awards, which are proving to grow bigger and better. For four years now, the awards have booked every January on our calendars.
The first edition of the awards took place on February 9 2013 at Theatre La Bonita in Kampala. The second awards were taken to Wonder World Auditorium in Kansanga and the third were also held at the same venue, Wonder World.
The 4th edition of the awards will take place tomorrow (Saturday) at Kampala Serena Hotel’s Victoria Hall. According to the Hipipo Awards chief executive officer, Innocent Kawooya, the awards are a premium brand, but they want to relate with everyone.
“The reason we have been going to La Bonita and Wonder World is that we wanted to engage the downtown people which we did and they now understand the awards,” Kawooya said, adding that organising the awards at Serena was so they can engage with the ‘high-end’ people.
He adds that the high-end people will help make the awards a big brand not only in East Africa but also in Africa; this will be in form of sponsorships and endorsements.
The HiPipo awards are run under the theme, Fans decide. Even this year, the fans will decide who takes which award home in the 26 categories available. According to Kawooya, voting which was done online and by SMS started on December 7 last year and will close tomorrow. “Only two categories will be determined by our judges; the Life Achievement Award and the Video Trailblazer Award.
Why is Bebe Cool always Artiste of the Year?
For all the times that the Hipipo awards have happened, Bebe Cool has always scooped Artiste of the Year award. On why the category could not be transparent, Kawooya says the reason they chose the theme Fans decide, is because they do not want to get involved in who wins.
“I have always received calls from artistes who want to bribe me so they can win or get nominated, but I don’t believe in taking bribes,” Kawooya says.
The reason Bebe Cool is always winning is that he takes time to vote for himself and also urge fans to vote for him. “An artiste who will wait to bribe us and get an award without being voted will not be entertained,” he says.
The Black Convertible Peugeot 207
Unlike the past years, the Hipipo awards will this time recognise and appreciate efforts of a lucky fan who will take part in the voting process.
“A black convertible will be given to a lucky fan on D-day. Ever since the beginning of the year, we have been moving around different districts with the car to create awareness about the awards,” Kawooya says.
He added that many people thought giving out the car is a stunt but they should come and see it themselves. In last year’s Hipipo Awards, they gave out more than 50 tablets to fans.
A table at the event will cost Shs3m and an Individual ticket will go for Shs50,000. There will also be performances from local, traditional and international entertainers. No names were mentioned though, because the organisers want to surprise their fans.
Meanwhile, we have found out that one of the secrets behind the steady growth of the HiPipo Awards is the massive injection in the palm from Huawei. The mobile phone manufacturers partnered with HiPipo again and injected millions of shillings in the fourth edition of the awards ceremony. During a press briefing at the company’s offices on Wednesday, Huawei Uganda officially announced its financial support for the awards and also promised Huawei Ascend P8 phones for various participants.
Stanley Qin, the Huawei Uganda managing director, was tight-lipped about the exact amount they had injected in the ceremony, but he made it clear that they had increased the financial support from last year’s with a big margin. However, insiders at Huawei Uganda told us that the phone company had doubled last year’s sponsorship. We already have our invites and we shall bring you proceedings from the ceremony.