The awards, which were first held as the Kisima Awards in 1997, have been relaunched as the Kisima Music and Film Awards after a seven-year hiatus to recognise players in Africa’s music and film industries. 

KMFAs chairperson Fred Simiyu said the awards would be held in a different African country every year to strengthen African solidarity and “be a point of convergence for showcasing African talent, dreams and aspirations.“ 

“We are relaunching and rebranding as a pan-African event, and the biggest differentiator is that we are including film,” he said. “The reason for this is that we realised that Africa has the creativity that needs to be communicated not only through songs but also visuals. We want to turn the tables and present the best from Africa by Africans. We want to tap into the talent of art, music and film through the storytelling of our culture. We want young artists to get into the Elite programme with the Nation Media Group so they can be trained on musicianship, and use the Music In Africa platform to market themselves and network with professionals from across the globe.” Source

This year’s edition is set to be held on December 13 at the Carnivore grounds in Nairobi with Nation Media Group as its official media partner.

The 2020 Kisima Music and Film Awards will use digital nomination platforms and with a focus on social good to lead from the front in the wake of the global Coronavirus pandemic.

The use of digital nomination portal allows all of Africa’s bilingual diversities; Anglophone, Francophone, Lusophone and Arabic north to nominate their champions and heroes before the team of eminent, experienced panel of industry players, music scholars, veteran musicians and film artists pick the finalists. The process of picking the winners will be participatory and transparent, they said.

The Awards rebranded to Kisima Music and Films Awards after it was wholly acquired by its chairman Dr. Simiyu, who is also the Chairman of Ad agency IQ Marketing.