A third pan-African music awards event is flexing its muscles and acting as a platform for introducing music and artists from the continent to a broader audience.
The Afrotainment Museke Online African Music Awards (Moamas) is currently in its second year and features more than 30 categories covering Africa and the Diaspora.
The awards, which will be announced via an event at Afrotainment's New York studios on Sept. 24, joins the two other major pan-African music awards on the continent -- the three-year-old MTV Africa Music Awards (Mamas) and the Channel O Music Video Awards which are based out of Johannesburg.
Like the Mamas and the Channel O Music Video Awards, the Afrotainment Museke Online African Music Awards is publicly voted -- in the case of the latter, following the nominations of a Voter's Academy made up of African DJs, bloggers and VJs.
Among those leading the nominations with five nods apiece are South Africa's Afro-pop seven-piece, Freshlyground; Nigeria's Afro-Pop star, 2Face Idibia; new generation Congolese singer, Fally Ipupa and Senegal's Viviane N'dour, who started her career singing in brother-in-law Youssou N'Dour's Super Etoile de Dakar band.
In a statement, organizers said, "The Afrotainment Museke Online African Music Awards are built on the belief in bringing together Africans through music exchange."
Categories include artiste of the year, male artiste of the year, female artiste of the year, group of the year and new artiste alongside the regional categories of West Africa, North Africa, Central Africa, East Africa, Southern Africa and Diaspora. The Afrotainment Museke Online African Music Awards also include several genre categories unique to the continent including Zouk/Kizomba Song, Tribal House and Afro-pop.
Among the South African nominees are South African Music Award-winners Teargas who are up for group of the year as well as Southern Africa song and Afro hip-hop for the track "Mhlobo wami" off the album "Dark and Blue" (Electromode).
Voting takes place via the award's website until Sept. 18, 2011.