Valiant, Skeng, Koffee among MECA Awards winners ... but few show up to event
Organisers looking to 2023
The inaugural MECA (Marketplace Entertainment Centre for the Arts) Awards unfolded last Wednesday at the venue of the same name in Marketplace, and for those who attended, it was well worth it.
But just like at other award shows that have been staged over the years to honour those in the local music and entertainment ecosystem, too many of the nominees chose to be absent and did not even bother to send a representative.
In the run-up to the event, MECA CEO Michael Dawson was extremely upbeat, albeit cautiously optimistic.
In a pre-show release, Dawson stated: “It was always going to be a risk when the Marketplace Entertainment Centre for the Arts Limited decided to give back to the industry with a local entertainment awards ceremony. However, evidenced by the activity seen on social media, the awards have quickly secured a buzz, with stars encouraging fans to vote or excitedly posting their nomination for all to see. With the awards relying 100 per cent on fan votes, the cream of the crop should rise to victory.”
Fans were asked to vote in 32 categories, celebrating excellence in music, theatre, comedy, and dance, as well as a few non-traditional categories. Among them were Best Cosmetologist, Best Entertainment Food Spot, Best Entertainment TV Show, Artistes of the Year, Dancer of the Year, Breakout Celebrity, Male and Female Influencer of the Year and Best Entertainment Podcast. Bounty Killer and Beenie Man were the recipients of Lifetime Achievement Awards and Dancehall Queen Carlene was present to receive the MECA Icon Award.
There was also a Gleaner and Observer Special Award and also a special award for recently deceased social media influencer Aneka ‘Slickianna’ Townsend, who was nominated in the Female Influencer of the Year category. Winners were announced at the event.
Dawson and his team went all out to put on a great production and did not hide their disappointment.
“I am disappointed,” producer Rosie Murray said. “I personally called and spoke to a number of the nominees and asked them to send a representative if they were going to be off the island. Yes, there were glitches. It is our inaugural event, and I am taking notes. Some serious work went into this production, and you know, with COVID and the lockdown, I was hoping that we would have gained a little more appreciation for things such as this and realise that we need to support each other. But those who attended left the event feeling satisfied.”
Dawson chose stoicism and emphasised that he was not deterred from staging the MECA Awards next year.
“Indeed, the absence of many nominees was disappointing, but unfortunately, expected. Keep in mind that we are a Garveyite Company. We are cognisant of how much our own people appreciate the recognition of others more than that of their own people,” Dawson said.
He added quickly, “However, we are proud that we delivered a quality event, and based on the apologies for being absent, the congratulations and the accolades received, we know we will see very strong attendance starting next year.”
Inaugural MECA Awards Winners
Male Reggae Artiste of the year
Female Reggae Artiste of the Year
Male Dancehall Artiste of the Year
Female Dancehall Artiste of the Year
Best New Artiste
Best Gospel Artiste of the Year
Best Collab of the year
Skeng/Nicki Minaj- Likkle Miss
Best Video of the Year
Ding Dong - Bounce
Best Producer of the Year
Manager of the Year
Event Promoter(s) of the Year
Best Entertainment TV Show
Kareembwoyatingz - Afterdark
Entertainment Social Media Page
Female Social Media Influencer/Personality
Male Social Media Influencer/Personality
Life of a King
Fashion Designer of the Year
Cosmetologist of the Year (Hair, Nails, and Make-up)
Sher Luxury Beauty Bar
Best Entertainment Food Spot
Dining with Curvy
Festival/Concert of the Year
Event of the Year
I Love Soca
Theatre Production of the Year
Patrick Brown - Guilty with Explanation
Comedy Event of the Year
Ity and Fancy Cat Show
Dancer(s) of the Year
Photographic Journalism of the Year
Sleek Jamaica Media
Disc Jock of the Year
Sound of the Year