By CHUSA SICHONE –
RAPPER Chef 187 and gospel artiste Abel Chungu Musuka were the biggest winners at this year’s prestigious Mosi Lager Zambian Music Awards (ZMAs).
Chef, whose real name is Kondwani Kaira, walked away with four awards, while Abel scooped three.
Chef’s Heart of a Lion got the Best Mainstream Album award, beating ‘heavyweight’ Jordan Katembula (JK)’s Telemundo and T-Sean’s Time Bomb albums respectively.
Heart of a Lion went on to also scoop an award for the Best Hip Hop Album.
As if that is not enough, Chef added the Best Mainstream Male Artiste award to his name as well as the Best Collaboration for the song Kumalila Ngoma, which he did with the ‘King of modern Kalindula music’, Afunika.
Kumalila Ngoma beat Alangizi by Kan2 and Slap D as well Basazibe by Mampi and Judy.
The Best Mainstream Male Artiste category consisted of JK and Amarulah star Roberto.
Abel, who opened the event on Saturday evening at Government Complex by singing the National Anthem, got the Best Gospel Album award for his Love Unleashed album.
Love Unleashed outclassed Israel (formerly Exile)’s Exile to Israel album and Suwilanji’s Ulukombo Lwa Mweo.
Love Unleashed went on to scoop the Best R & B Album. It out did F-Jay’s Nafika album and Stan Da Industry’s Zimandola.
Abel, whose looks and soothing voice has made him popular with female fans, was awarded the Best Gospel Male Artist.
Again, Israel, who is renowned for his So lucky song, among other hits, was not so lucky as was the case with Abel’s label mate Pompi.
Wilz, who has become a household name for his Wezi-assisted Toliwe song, got two awards on the night.
Wilz’s Mr Nyopole’s album beat Stan Da Industry’s Pupwe Chulu in the Best Niyatu (Zed Beats) Album category. Wilz was also awarded the Best New Artist, the category which was contested by Kan2 and Urban Hype.
Chef’s senior brother Macky2’s Mama Rebecca got the Song of the Year award. The song competed against Belinda nafwa by Chester and Kalilole by Cleo Boy.
Late Brian Cheengwa popularly known as P-Jay’s efforts were finally recognized during the ZMAs where he was posthumously presented with the Best Songwriter award.
P-Jay, who is famous for being arguably the most featured artiste in Zambia, beat Israel and Mulenga Kabaso.
Despite not winning an award, Israel and his wife Nalu gave one of the best live performances during the show, earning the couple a standing ovation.
Diva Mampi got the Best Mainstream Female Artist award in absentia after she outclassed Scarlet and rapper Brisky.
The Northmead Mega Choir, Mount Sinai, Suwilanji, Amayenge, Chris Aka, T-Sean, Liseli Sisters, as well as Disc Jockeys (DJs) Bizzy Wizzy, Man Chilu (ZNBC) and Roxy (Radio Phoenix) were also among the recipients of the ZMAs. Evelyn Hone College (music section) got the Lifetime Achievement Award.
Chef closed the colourful and well-organised event with live performance of his 99 jobs song around 22:00 hours. Drinking and eating followed thereafter.