By Harold Kapinda
The Urban Music People (UMP) Awards is pleased to announce that veteran music promoter and founder of Entertainers Promotions, Jai ‘Mr. Entertainer’ Banda is this year’s receipient of UMP Lifetime Achievement Award.
The award was introduced to recognize people who have made a monumental and long lasting impact in local music industry including urban music.
According to UMP director Ken Zizwa, the 2019 UMP Lifetime Achievement Award is being given to Jai Banda for his contribution to Malawi’s cultural identity through music.
“Jai Banda is the paragon of a music mogul in Malawi’s music industry, his influence spans decades and transcends genres. He deserves to be recognized for generations to come, and it’s a pleasure for us to honor him with this award now,” Zizwa says.
Commenting on the development, Jai Banda said he feels very honoured and happy to have been recognised during his lifetime.
He adds: “This is very good indeed. People who contribute enormously to the nation should always be accorded the respect whilst they still alive. I am indebted to UMP for recognising the contribution I have done to the music industry.”
Entertainers Promotions was registered in 1989 and has been active for over three decades.
According to Banda, the company was started with the aim of encouraging Malawian artists to be original and have an own identity on Malawian beat.
“That was the reason we introduced the Reggae by Foot festivals and then Pungwes to give a platform to Malawian artists to showcase their talent,” he reveals.
Commenting on the current music scene, Banda says: “Up to now we haven’t come up with music which can truly be described as Malawian the way Zambians, Zimbaweans, South Africans have done. Our music should be such that once one hears he will know thats from Malawi. Thats what we have to work on. Our own identity so that we can also produce international stars.”
Entertainers Promotions has worked with Bright Nkhata and Makasu Band, Evison Matafale and Black Missionaries Band, Skeffa Chimoto, Ethel Kamwendo Banda, Gwamba and Piksy among others.
Last year, the UMP Lifetime Achievement Award went to veteran musician Lucius Banda.
Other previous awardees include producer Tapps Bandawe, FM 101 Power owner Oscar Thompson, late Reggae Dancehall artists Mafunyeta, Vic Marley, entertainment outfit Black Life Entertainment and Producer/Rapper Dynamike.
The 2019 UMP Awards (blended edition: fashion and music) will be held on Saturday night, 14 December at Crossroads Hotel, Blantyre.