MTV will air the event globally, in 180 countries, for the first time.
The hip-hop star will host the virtual awards ceremony from his home in Miami, alongside African co-emcees for the event. The show’s home base will be Kampala, the capital and largest city of Uganda.
The MAMA Kampala 2021 event will celebrate African talent across 20 award categories. Nominees in 16 categories have been announced.
“Africa is home to some of the world’s most dynamic talent and we’re excited to spotlight these artists as the MAMAs broadcast in 180 countries for the first time in MTV history,” Bruce Gillmer, president of music, music talent, programming & events for ViacomCBS Media Networks, said in a statement.
Monde Twala, senior vice president and general manager at ViacomCBS Networks Africa, said, “We are thrilled to have DJ Khaled as our international host for MAMA Kampala 2021. With his global success achievement and over 22 million followers on social media, he will inspire youth across the continent and attract an even bigger international audience to the virtual event.”
For his part, DJ Khaled said, “MTV has always been a great partner so I jumped at the opportunity to host this year’s MAMAs. I can’t wait to celebrate the incredible music that comes out of Africa, which has inspired me throughout my career.”
The MTV Africa Music Awards have recognized the talent of musicians, achievers and personalities from across Africa, including 2Face Idibia, AKA, Anselmo Ralph, Big Nuz, Cassper Nyovest, Clarence Peters, Cabo Snoop, Davido, D’Banj, Diamond Platnumz, Flavour, Gangs of Ballet, HHP, Fally Ipupa, Liquideep, Lira, Lupita Nyong’o, Mafikizolo Nameless, P-Square, Sarkodie, Tiwa Savage, Toofan, Trevor Noah, Uhuru, Wahu, Wizkid, Yemi Alade and Zebra & Giraffe.
Some of these recipients have attained global fame. Nyong’o won an Oscar for best supporting actress seven years ago for 12 Years a Slave. Noah won an Emmy three years ago for The Daily Show With Trevor Noah. A 2019 Grammy nominee, Noah is set to host the 63rd annual Grammy Awards on March 14.
Voting is now open at MTVmama.com, and affiliated Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts. Voting in all categories closes on Jan. 31.
The show is set to air on Feb. 20 at 8 p.m. CAT (Central Africa Time)/ 6 p.m. GMT (Greenwich Mean Time)/1 p.m. ET.