DURBAN – Oscar-winning Kenyan actress Lupita Nyong’o won the personality of the year award at the 2014 MTV African Music Awards (MAMA) held in South Africa’s southeastern city of Durban on Saturday.
The 31-year-old, who won the best supporting actress Academy Award in March for her role in historical drama “12 Years a Slave,” was not present to receive her award.
She became the first winner of the newly introduced lifestyle non-music personality of the year award.
IN doing so she beat Nigerian award-winning novelist Chimamanda Adichie, South African top stand up comedian Trevor Noah, Ivory Coast footballer Yaya Toure and popular Nollywood actress Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde.
The MTV African Music Award celebrates pan African music, youth culture and talent, and winners are chosen by public vote.
South Africa’s afro-pop duo Mafikizolo took the best group award, while their track “khona” was voted song of the year. They beat other strong nominees including Nigeria’s popular R&B duo P-Square.
Nigerian afro-pop artist and producer Davido won the favourite artist of the year award.
He also took the best male artist prize while his compatriot, the multi-talented sensation Tiwa Savage took the best female artist award.
Sarkordie of Ghana was named the best hip hop group.
Awards host, American stand up comic, film and television sensation Marlon Wayans expressed the wish for the “safe return” of the more than 200 Nigerian girls kidnapped by extremist Islamist group Boko Haram .
Wayans also paid tribute to anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela.
“Madiba had a profound impact on not only South Africa but on the entire world as a whole, so tonight we pay tribute to Mr Mandela,” said host Wayans.
Legendary all-male South African a capella group Ladysmith Black Mambazo made a surprise showing to gave a stunning performance.
Cameroon’s Stanley Enow was the first winner of the show, aired live from the Durban International Convention Centre, in the southeastern city of Durban, taking the best new act prize.
The MTV Africa music awards were first staged in 2008 and have each year recognised iconic musicians from across the continent.