The award weekend will upon us once again. The annual Kisima awards will be held next Friday. It is a time to appreciate the effort that our music artistes have put in to keep us entertained
. The winners will be expected to express their joy, at bagging an award,by giving an acceptance speech. Kenyan artistes ought to style up as regards acceptance speeches.The most popular award ceremonies in Kenya include the aforementioned Kisima awards, The CHAT awards and the Groove awards. The latter two awards were held back in April.
The Kenyan music scene has exponentially grown and it is encouraging that it is recieving serious recognition both locally and abroad. From the days local music struggled for airplay in radio stations and TV stations, when gifted artistes cautiously engaged in the art because it paid little. The days of grainy music videos have gone and artistes are keen to have quality screenings. Production houses now produce quality ear-worthy audio works as opposed to D-list productions of the past.
Award shows were conceived in the mid-2000s as corporates jumped in to ensure that our artistes were appreciated for their hard work,. the likes of Fanta for CHAT awards and Safaricom for Groove awards. An ineloquent acceptance speech back then was excusable given that our musicians had never had the privilege of recognition before and that was a new platform. But with the growth of the industry and numerous award ceremonies later, it is inexcusable for an artiste to botch a simple acceptance speech. Award platforms have exposed our artistes badly in the spotlight. Acceptance speeches should be concise and brief. Gratitude towards God, fans and benefactors is enough. Most artistes handle thier moment of glory horrendously, they break into completely unnecessary chatter.
Some artistes start off well only to collapse, giving unimportant details on their long road to fame. In April , i watched in despair as two artistes who had won an award at the Groove awards sought to dismiss speculation that they had beef as part of their acceptance speech. Their clumsiness on the mic magnified the fact that indeed there was a rift existing between them. The glittering podium was no place to bury the hatchet for the artistes. It is allowed to be emotional but some artistes push it to annoying levels. Last year during an award ceremony, a female artiste on receiving her award tearfully folded to the ground uttering a multitude of 'thank yous'. Her excitement was not even believable.During this year's Groove awards an overjoyed artiste, instead of getting on with the appreciation saw it fit to burst into a popular chorus. Others take their time on the big stage to recognize his whole neighbourhood, totally ignoring that the award shows run on a timed schedule.
Few Kenyan artistes can notch a memorable acceptance speech. Watching the Grammys and BET awards one can see the discipline international artistes have when they grace the podium triumphantly.