Forget that he is an African music superstar of international repute having been nominated in several international awards, Nasibu Juma aka Diamond Platnumz is getting no respect at home. Or is he simply scoffing the opportunity to be celebrated by his own.
The celebrated music icon failed to feature in the list of nominees for the Tanzania Music Awards, a government fronted venture that will see the best in the country get recognised next month. Tanzania Music Awards, formally christened Kilimanjaro Music Awards, are making a return after a six-year hiatus.
It is not just Diamond who is missing in the list released by Baraza La Sanaa La Taifa (Basata) on Saturday evening but also his entire Wasafi Records brigade including the current top stars Zuhura Soud aka Zuchu and Mbwana Kilungi aka Mboso, both having ruled the regional music scene in the last ten months. Raymond Mwakyusa aka Rayvanny, another Wasafi Records diehard, whose September release Wanaweweseka and new single Fundi are on top on the charts, is also missing in the list.
In the Best Male Bongo Flavor category, where Wasafi’s greats would have featured, former stable member Harmonize (Rajab Kahali), a Diamond nemesis, leads the park with Jux (Juma Mkambala) and Ben Pol (Benard Paul). Singing sensation Nandy (Faustina Mfinanga), newcomer star Rosa Ree (Rosary Robert) as well as Saraphina Anjella are the poplar names in the Best Female Bongo Flavor category where Zuchu’s name does not feature.
According to the Basata CEO Matiko Muniko, the nominees in the list are the final list of the 1360 applications made on music released last year. Speaking to the media, Muniko said the nominations were free and fair noting that according to the jury, those picked were the best. The April, 1 gala will see a winner in each of the 51 categories, that include Hip Hop, Dance, Taarab and Reggae and Dancehall take home a trophy and other enviable goodies.
Our efforts to get a comment from Wasafi Records, yesterday, bore no fruits. And even though the real reason as to why Wasafi Records artistes do not feature in the list, it is an open secret that the relationship between the stable and the Tanzanian government has been a dicey one, that being the likely trigger of the said omission.
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Diamond is on record having said he does not want to be selected in the awards following an alleged music royalties dispute with the government. This is after the president Samia Suluhu – in January - directed that artistes be paid royalties by the Copyright Society of Tanzania, for the first time ever. It was during the January royalties awarding gala that Diamond said he would not to be part of the awards.
“If they could not pay me royalties, how could they be able to honour me with an award? We are talking about the same people who were involved in royalties being in the awards organisation,” Diamond is quoted as having challenged.
During the ceremony, Diamond also alluded that he was ‘too big’ to compete with other Tanzanian artistes noting it would be unfair for him to be grouped among the nominees, thus asking to be allowed to compete in international events.
On multiple times, the has been nominated in some of the world’s enviable annual music awards among them MTV Africa Music Awards, MTV Europe Music Awards and BET Awards.
Some time back, the Tanzanian government slapped Wasafi TV with a six months’ ban for violating broadcasting regulations by the Tanzania Communication Regulatory Authority (TCRA). At the time, Diamond and his team were barred from performing.