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KENYA: How Pulse Music Video Awards Turned Out to be The Most Anticipated Gig in Region


With Shaffie Weru and Mwalimu Rachael as MCs, the debut Pulse Music Video Awards (PMVA) got in progress at the IMAX-20th Century auditorium that December evening, four years ago.

There were the typical issues expected of any maiden occasion, regardless of which, it was an on edge night for the music business as the new child was conceived.

It had been a much-awaited idea in an industry whose previous music awards – Kisima and Chaguo La Teeniez had folded.

The only competitive awards left had been Groove Awards, which only catered for gospel artists. So here was the PMVA with the much-needed response, a concept that would rebuild the music industry by recognizing and awarding outstanding talent in music video production.

Since, the PMVAs have never looked back.

Fresh from holding its fourth edition yesterday, the PMVAs has become one of the most anticipated awards in the annual showbiz calendar, making it the only music video awards competition in the region.

The awards are an offshoot of the Pulse magazine, Kenya’s pioneer weekly showbiz magazine that has ruled the industry as a trendsetter for 15 years.

They are yet another bold move by the creators of showbiz, an urban youth-fronted celebrity culture that wasn’t in existence before the magazine came to be.

This is the magazine that most school-going Pulsers, as well as Pulsaters, look forward to every Friday to get a feeling of the showbiz and celebrity lifestyle trends.

With the continued growth of the magazine, the PMVAs couldn’t have come at a better time. The quest to have a competitive platform where our stars not only gauge their popularity but also get a chance to participate in an event that brings the entertainment industry together had been many a people’s dreams.

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The awards moved to Serena Hotel in 2016, a glitzy affair that was aired live on TV. That year saw an increase in the number of entries in the ten competing categories with over 500 artistes submitting their videos. The numbers have been going up every year.

The New Artiste of the year category, for example, saw over 260 entrants make a stab at it this year after the entry call was made.

The other categories that include Video Vixen of the Year, Male Video of the Year, Female Video of the Year, Best Collaboration of the Year, Best Choreography of the Year, Breakthrough Video of the Year, Best Group Video of the Year, Video Director of the Year and Viewer’s Choice of the Year have also seen stiff competition.

Enjoying good partnership with top business brands among them Trade Mark Hotel, Kiza -Tomorrow Africa, Mash Auto, Viva Africa Consortium, Vintage Concepts, and Eristoff, this year’s PMVAs have taken the game a notch higher.

A new winner’s trophy was unveiled last week and hosting it at the new uptown Village Market Trademark Hotel was a sign of things to come.

“We are happy with the partnership we have had with the Pulse Music Video Awards over the years. The spirit of the awards which is to reward outstanding talent among Kenyan artistes is a noble course that needs to be appreciated by all in the creative industry,” says Ali of Kiza.

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