By Stevens Muendo
Legendary Bango singer and one of the pioneer coastal artistes Joseph Ngala would have wished to usher in the new generation of coast music artistes last week.
But the elderly singer who, back in the 1960s, founded the Hodi Boys and Bahari Boys groups was too weak to leave his residence. His Lifetime Achievement Award had to be collected by his band members on his behalf.
Even in absentia, his presence swept through the ceremony as the Generations Band, which took the stage to great applause, brought back the memories of the legendary star as it belted to the riveting classic ballads synonymous with the Bango originator.
As Ngala’s name was called out during the awards ceremony, it was a show of unity as the new generation artistes joined other stars of yore to a standing ovation. Besides, it was a night of surprises and tearful heartbreaks as Kenya Coast Music Awards went down at Sea Front, Mombasa.
At the VIP section where the awards nominees were seated, it was gripping tension as the hour of reckoning approached.
Earlier in the night, guests among them the Government Spokesman Alfred Mutua and an array of musicians and media personalities, graced the red carpet to a pompous reception from their fans.
Mombasa singers from Bantu, Cannibal, Gospel Family, Anastancia Mukabwa, Masha Mapenzi, Daddy Q, Chikuzee, Escobar, Ally B, DJ Hemx and Sav Clan were on the cards.
The crowd was thrown into frenzy when gospel singer Bantu and Anastancia Mukabwa were announced the winners in the coveted Best Male Artiste of the Year and Best Female Artiste of the Year categories, respectively.
Bantu, also a Groove Awards winner, was the envy of his seasoned rivals and past winners Johnny Skani and Cannibal who could hardly believe their fate in the hotly contested category.
However, to his reprieve, Cannibal won the Hip-hop Artiste Award with another celebrated singer, Ally B, receiving accolades in the Utamaduni Artiste of the Year slot.
KTN news anchors Ali Manzu and Lulu Hassan made a commanding win with Manzu beating his competitors to the Male TV Anchor of the Year category. Lulu was the first runner -p in the Female TV Anchor category.