Mdundo Awards 2017 – Just Where Did The Kenyan Music Industry Go Astray?


The inaugural Mdundo Awards took place in May 2014 and went down the history books as the first ever East African i-Awards whatever that means I wont ask you to tell me but in short everything was done online and you got to give it to them for having a digital awards ceremony.

Now 2015 saw the second event go down and big names like Sauti Sol, Willy Paul and even Chocolate City’s very own Victoria Kimani took the gold home.

For those who may not understand unlike other awards where voting or nominations take place, with Mdundo Awards the nominees are picked exclusively by the organizers of the awards and the concept basically is to recognize the cream de la cream in terms of music download numbers.

Unlike the previous ceremonies this year’s the third annual Mdundo awards was done at the ongoing Ongea Summit at Sarit Centre on the 16th of February.

“The philosophy behind our Awards is to acknowledge Musicians based on the real Consumption of their Music, instead of a panel or a voting process, which is often practiced. We are very happy to be Hosted by ONGEA! this year”. Shyqo Koinange – Head of Music at Mdundo explained.


The inaugural awards saw Rabbit King Kaka scoop more than half of the award’s categories walking away with four awards including the most downloaded hiphop song but things once again are different this year.

Timmy T Dat who was nominated for and awarded the most downloaded hiphop song award did not really make sense to me and as matter of fact I am totally sure it did not make sense to you either right? Its like Adelle winning the Grammy’s for the best hiphop song and as much as she is talented that is definitely not the category you want her in.

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Willy Paul just as always remained visible on the list with both the most downloaded single and male of 2016, Mercy Masika, Kymo & Stigah and Sauti Sol scooping most downloaded female, group and afro-pop respectively.

It may make sense if Mdundo made the nominations in the Hiphop category as part of “what is good for business” and if you ask me its clear that Timmy is actually one of the famous names around here and associating your brand with him truly is what’s best for business but not best for the industry.

Because lets face it, if by any chance Timmy is doing Hiphop and do not get me wrong I fancy his music, then just what does his boss King Kaka do? or what is Smallz Lethal, Deejay Mandy, Labalaa, Omae, Khaligraph Jones, Kyki and many more who actually are hiphop artists doing?.

As an industry- a growing industry for that matter we really fail when we do music as a favour, when the who and who keep dominating the airwaves because they know him and her, Kenya needs to retrace where it went wrong with her entertainment sector if she ever wishes to compete on the global scene.