No cash prize for Ultimate FM awards winners

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Mohalenyane Phakela

THE Ultimate FM Music Awards prize giving ceremony held yesterday was marred by the outcry of the winning artistes after the radio station could only deliver the studio equipment without the M5000 prize money they had promised.

The inaugural Ultimate FM Music awards were held at Thaba-Bosiu Cultural Village early this month, with the prize giving ceremony for the winners held at Maseru Sun Cabanas yesterday.

The premise of the awards, which were segmented into 11 categories, was to appreciate the efforts of local musicians.

Winners included Lavida Loca for the Best Kwaito Album, Best Gospel, Khotso Ntlama; Best Compilation, Sir Schaba; Best RnB, Sphiwe Nzima; Best Jazz, Lele Khasue; Best Dance, Phakzino; Best Hip Hop, Juvinile; Best Newcomer, Sir Schaba; Best Producer, DJ Slats and Song of the Year to Paul Lewake.

Apart from the studio equipment, the winners had initially been promised M5000 each which did not materialise at the ceremony, much to their chagrin.

Those who spoke to the Weekender expressed disappointed that the monetary prize had been withdrawn without warning despite Ultimate FM’s undertaking to give it to the winners. The bemused artistes said, while they were grateful for the equipment, they would find it difficult to trust the station in the future as the cash withdrawal had “left a bad first impression”.

On his part, Ultimate FM’s Dallas T claimed they opted not to give the artistes the money because they feared that some of them may “misuse it”.

Speaking at the prize giving ceremony, Ultimate FM Director, ‘Mabatho Lithebe, said: “I become very emotional when talking about local artists having seen how they are abused, undermined and oppressed.

“Ultimate FM, together with the sponsors, went out of its way to show a token of appreciation for the efforts of local artists and I hope these awards will uplift their spirits.

“It was not easy at the preparation stage, just like a mother before birth, but now I am proud to say that this baby has been born in a healthy condition.”

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