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Kenyan stars birthed by PMVA


Vera Sidika

Then little known in showbiz circles, it was P Unit’s collaboration with former Kleptomaniac’s member Collo You guy that thrust the socialite and now entrepreneur mum to the limelight. Having been nominated as a Video Vixen of the Year, it was hard for the fans not to take notice of the lady with a thigh-high tattoo and attention-drawing hips. She won the category with ease that inaugural year. The category has since become the most hotly contested in the awards. And the showbiz area it represents has seen the rise of numerous video vixens, with lucrative offers that help them make a living out of featuring on videos. The other video vixen winner to come close was Evaluna Wanjiru who has scooped the award for two consecutive years in 2016 and 2017.

Nikita Kering

She drew the attention of Pulsers after she won the Best New Artiste of the year during the fourth edition of the PMVA’s at a tender age of 16, making her the youngest ever recipient of the award. Nikita has continually shown consistency and has proved to be the woman of steal after she scooped continental awards, including the winner of the Best Female Artiste in East Africa during last year’s Afrimma awards. She won over Tanzania’s Zuchu and Nandy, who equally had successful careers in the last couple of years. This year she comes shooting from the hip with a nomination in the Best Female Artiste, all thanks to her smash hit Ex, which has already garnered millions of views on YouTube. 

Papa Denis

The late Denis Mwangi was no stranger to awards ceremonies and winning and certainly, the PMVAs was no exception. Denis, who had risen from being a street kid to dominating the airwaves had his fair share of multiple wins. He once scooped the Best Choreography Award in 2017, which elevated his status and which he credited for his other continental wins, including the African Muzik Magazine Award. The late singer and dancer will be remembered for his well-choreographed, high energy performances on stage during the 2017 PMVA gala event.

 The late Papa Dennis [Courtesy]


She has been a sensation in the music industry and is slowly becoming a force to reckon with since winning the Best Collaboration award for the song Pakua, featuring Mejja. And to prove she deserved the win, the prolific singer has been dropping hit after hit, making her one of the attractions in this year’s awards. Now with regional mega-hits featuring heavyweights like Otile Brown, Darassa and Mario, she is certainly heading for the skies.

Kush Tracey

Kush Tracey pulled a surprise on many in 2018 when she scooped the coveted Best Female Artiste of the year in the hotly contested awards. She beat Fena Gitu, Sanaipei Tande and gospel star Mercy Masika. The Huwezi ni Dandia hitmaker had had a successful year prior to her win, releasing multiple hits. After her win and an extensive country tour, she went on to switch up her careers as an influencer and media personality before seeing the light early last year.

 Kush Tracey [Courtesy]

Sailors, biggest winners

They are some of the biggest winners, having walked away with the most awards at their first attempt. In 2019 at the height of the Gengetone wave, the boy group were the main attraction and big winners. They scooped four major awards in one night for their hit jams Wakiritho, Wainame, Pekejeng and Wamlambez. They took home the New Wave of the Year, Best Group of the Year and Viewer’s Choice of the Year and Best Collaboration of the Year awards. “This is definitely the biggest night of our career,” they said as they collected the awards. Despite internal conflicts that have faced the group since then, they have vowed to bounce back into the scene.

 Sailors [Courtesy]

Willy Paul

Call him controversial or misunderstood but one thing is for sure, Wilson Radido better known as Willy Paul will always have his fans agog with stirred emotions. This popularity saw him scoop the 2017 Male Artiste of the Year and the most viewed nominated video for Jigi Jigi on the same night. Though he was not a new award recipient at the time, it was aroun dthis time that he broke clear of the gospel tag and into the secular platform that he now seems to be conquering with ease.


The dancers turned singing crew, who won their first PMVA award during their 2019 debut, are showing no signs of slowing down with an impressive four nominations this year. The Europe-based crew has no doubt had a good run with their music, which won them the Best Group Video Award for their jam Gengetone Love in 2020. It would not come as a surprise if they dominate this year’s awards as well.  

 Keith Chuaga, first male ‘video vixen’

Traditionally, bikini-clad or skimpily dressed lasses were the occasional recipients for the Video Vixen of the Year category. However, in 2020, tables were turned as a towering bearded hunk approached the stage to receive the award after he was called out as the winner. Keith Chuaga entered history books as the first male Video Vixen of the Year award recipient for his role in Nadia Mukami’s and Sanaipei Tande’s collaboration, Wangu. Stunned, the famed actor accepted the award. “I am glad not because I am the first male to receive this award but because people could recognise the work we put into this project,” he said as he accepted the award. Keith has gone on to land lead roles in local TV series as well as lucrative endorsement deals with various brands.

H_art the Band

Arguably the most famous group in this year’s awards, H_art - who have released two albums and an EP between the awards ceremonies, say their approach this year is different. The boy band whose nomination includes newbie Brizzy Annechild for their mega collaboration My Jaber, say their intention is to elevate as opposed to bagging the award. “While recording our album we did research on who to collaborate with. When the name Brizzy arose and we embarked on the project, we heard his input and knew this will be a big hit. It will be an honour for us to introduce Brizzy to the World; a win for him will mean the world to us. He is a star worth every attention.” Brizzy will be looking to bag his first ever award at tyhe PMVAs but says the sky is the limit and a nomination was already enough inspiration to make him aim for the top.

2021 Notable mentions

With this year’s gala themed ‘unmasking the beat’, new entrants in the 2021 PMVA awards are expected to raise the bar in bringing stiff competition into the awards. Here are some outstanding mentions of some artistes to watch out for even as we seek to crown the eventual winners.

Ssaru: A first-time nominee, Ssaru’s proficiency will be something to look out for even after the awards ceremony. She has shown dedication and hard work and with the same flow of events, she is destined to be a serious future contender even for the most coveted top female award.

Wakadinali and Buruklyn Boyz: The Eastland’s boys have hit the ground running with the authentic hardcore Hip Hop yet all-around beloved rhymes that most Hip Hop heads can relate to.

Luchi Star and Iyanii: Hilarious sketch videos, bubble gum rhymes with easy to sing along verses, the two acts are definitely a pack to watch out for in future. 

Trio Mio and Ndovu ni kuu: They are certainly doing a lot since they joined the industry and created a huge buzz in the local airwaves. The perfect supremacy ingredient for changing the status quo in the local music scene.

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