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CHANNEL O AWARDS (article first published : 2005-03-12)

Voting for the 2005 Channel O African Music Video Awards is racing along at an unprecedented pace. Three weeks into the voting process, and with two weeks left for the public to vote for their favourite artists, the Channel O website is registering an average of over 20,000 votes per week from across the continent. The numbers are rising, as the close of voting at midnight on March 30 draws near.

There are 21 categories, featuring 77 different nominated artists and groups. South African star Thandiswa Mazwai leads the pack with four nominations, with Tanzanian Renee Lamira and Nkalakatha star Mandoza tied for second with three nominations.

Now in their second year, the Channel O AMVA's are unique in that videos are nominated and voted for by viewers, giving fans complete control over who receives an award. A call was put out on the Channel O website for viewers to recommend videos which should be included in the nominee list. A short list was then created by Channel O management. Criteria used for short-listing were technical quality of the video and frequency of requests for a video on the different Channel O shows to measure popularity of the video. The videos need to have been produced between October 2003 and December 2004 and should have received airplay on Channel O. This exercise produced the final five nominees per category.

Viewers can log on to www.channelo.co.za to vote, or call or SMS +27 (0)83 920 8400 and follow the voice prompts to register a vote for their favourite artist in a particular category. To vote via SMS, enter the category name, a space and then the artist's name. The number for SMS voting is also +27 (0)83 920 8400. Votes are charged at international call rates.

The Awards show itself will be held at the Civic Theater in Johannesburg on March 31. The event will be recorded 'live' and broadcast on Channel O on April 2 at 19h00 CAT.




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