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'This caps everything I have worked for', says Juliani

REAL TALK
By | October 3rd 2011

By David Odongo

Three days after winning Sh 1million at the 9th Kisima Music Awards, gospel musician Juliani is still excited and praying to God to guide him on how to use the money.

"This is a blessing and I thank God for what has been a fruitful year. The money…baado sijui itakuwaje, (I don’t know yet). Obviously, my music and youth tours will be a beneficiary. I will pray for guidance from God on what to do with the rest" says the elated rapper.

Sponsored by Standard Group, the Kisima Music Awards was a star-studded affair that attracted top local and regional celebrities with Tanzania’s superstar, AY and Uganda’s Chameleon in attendance. It was a night of very classic glamour.

And the 25-year-old Juliani appeared to have a cathartic moment after winning the artiste of the year category. Paying tribute to his fans, businessman Jimnah Mbaru and his parents, Juliani couldn’t hide his joy ‘This caps everything I have worked for. I am extremely humbled to have received this award. Its all through God’s grace" said the rapper.

The Kisima Music Awards are held annually and celebrate the achievements of players in the music industry. Gospel lyricist Kevo Yout was honoured with Ragga Artiste of the year award, ahead of five other top artists including Wahu, Sauti Sol, Redsan, Wyre and Proff.

He said: 'I do believe the future is in good hands. I've seen so much talent here tonight and I'm just so thankful to be a part of this world of music. Thanking his fans for their long-running support, he hailed the promising new talent in the music industry.

Jaguar performed his runaway hit Kigeugeu. He left the stage to a standing ovation from the appreciative crowd. Maroon Commandos were welcomed to the stage with a standing ovation as they collected the Lifetime Achievement Award on behalf of the late Habel Kifoto.

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A large cast of assorted stars from the world of music and film were at the event including the likes of actor OJ, Kidum, the boy band BMF, Calif Records star, Mejja and Kendi, rapper Abbas, Frenchboy, Wendy Kimani, Madtraxx and the entire Red Republik, petite sex siren, Size 8, Sudanese rapper K-Denk, and Benga star, Dola Kabarry. A notable absence was Afro Fusion boy group Sauti Sol. The band failed to attend the event despite picking up a four nominations, and winning Afro fusion group of the year.

Other winners on the night included Ogopa DJ’s star, Jaguar, who took Boomba artiste of the year award, Willie Owusu who took home Video of the year with Sauti sol’s Coming home video. Gospel artiste Mbuvi suprised everybody when he emerged from a strong field to win Benga Artiste of the year.

He had been nominated alongside Benga titans, Ken Wa Maria, Dola Kabarry, Timona Mburu of Guruneti fame and Emmanuel Musindi. Kisima Awards aim to display music excellence from local and regional musicians.

This year’s event theme was "Music Connects" and was aimed at recognising those who have made an outstanding impact, during the period in the industries of music and entertainment.

"It was such an honour to be a part of an amazing event that recognises the good work that people in our community do daily to make a difference in the music industry. I support and salute them," said Kisima Music Awards chairman, Fred Simiyu.

Founded by Tedd Josiah in 1994, Kisima has had its up and downs, which is now a thing of the past. The awards are meant to recognise outstanding achievement in the performing arts.

In 2004, Kisima was expanded to include musicians from the entire East Africa region. In 2005, Josiah stepped down as CEO of the awards amid controversy.

Kisima Music Awards continued to thrive and soon became an integral part of Kenyan music and culture. In 2009, the awards ceremony was a low-key event as the organisers were cash strapped.

Unlike two years ago when the then organisers could not raise capital to pay for a venue, the rebranded Kisima has surpassed expectations, and is the first awards scheme to give the overall winner Sh1million. The Standard Group among other Corporates sponsored the awards.

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