Here is the reason why Gen Salim Saleh’s OWC organised, injected billions of shillings in Janzi Awards

Here is the reason why Gen Salim Saleh’s OWC organised, injected billions of shillings in Janzi Awards

Over the weekend, the highly anticipated Janzi Awards took place at Kololo Independence Grounds.

The two day (11th and 12th December) recognized ans celebrated outstanding achievements, innovations and diversity in Uganda’s Cultural, Creative and Performing Arts.

Over 90 awards (each worth Sh3.6m) were awarded from various categories capturing key domains in the Industry and these included; Music, Performing Arts, Collecting Societies, Film & Video, Visual Arts & Crafts, Books & Publishing, Software & Innovations, Cultural & National Heritage and Support Services.

Janzi Awards’ inaugural ceremony was hosted by the Uganda Development Forum (UDF) which is a national network of state and non-state actors united by a shared commitment to propel sustainable socio-economic development in line with the aspirations of the people of Uganda, as articulated in Uganda Vision 2040.

The main aim was to explore ways of streamlining the sector with a view of unlocking its potential for job and wealth creation. It was unveiled by the Chief Coordinator of Operation Wealth Creation and Chairman of the Uganda Development Forum Gen Salim Saleh (injected billions of shillings in the event) on an occasion officiated by the Prime Ministry of Uganda as well as the Chairman of the Uganda National Cultural Forum in Gulu.

The nature of the awards

The Awards are named after the Janzi Instrument, which is a string instrument that was invented by the musician James Ssewakiryanga. The name was inspired by the Luganda word for grasshopper which is Ejjanzi who’s spirit and natural form are mirrored and inculpated in the design and feel of the instrument. The Janzi has two long wooden necks on the left and right, with a narrow space in between. It is made up of 22 strings, 11 strings on either side attached to the sound box with plastic strings. The Janzi is amplified and can be connected to any sound system. It is a modified version of the Adungu which is an instrument originating from Northern Uganda, where the inventor used guitar pegs instead of the usual Adungu’s local wood pegs and nails.

The Janzi Awards are therefore inspired by the instrument by way of celebrating and promoting the ingenuity and diversity of Uganda’s homegrown innovations and recognising the value and contribution of creatives and artists in promoting the culture of the nation, promoting social harmony, cohesion and unity through their different trades. The inaugural Janzi Awards in 2021 was a watershed moment that drove a major cultural shift in the creative sector.

Most of the recent award ceremonies that have taken place in Uganda have not recognised the art industry or sector as a whole, most of them recognise a small sector within art. For example, PAM Awards were for music. However Janzi awards were for the whole sector to recognise and celebrate outstanding creations across the industry.

Also to provide a platform for industry players and contribute to its transformation narrative and mobilise greater participation and inclusiveness across the country. Promote the cultural heritage of Uganda and stimulate dialogue about the great potential and values of African culture and artistic heritage. Identify challenges in the implementation of strategies related to the promotion of Uganda’s cultural, creative and performing arts industry. Stimulate advocacy among the media and strategic stakeholders to project the benefits of the Ugandan creative industry as a driver of economic and socio-political development.

Meanwhile here is the list of award winners;

Male Artist of the Year

• Pallaso

Female Artist of the Year

• Azawi

Outstanding Album of the Year

• Azawi (African Music)

Outstanding Song of the Year

• Pia Pounds (Tupaate)

Outstanding Kadongokamu Artist (Male)

• Willy Mukabya (Beera Mugumu)

Outstanding Kadongokamu Artist (Female)

• Josephine Ndagire (Teri Musajja W’omu)

Emerging Artist Award

• Zex Bilangilangi (Nalinda)

Outstanding Live Band

• Janzi Band

Outstanding Dance Hall Artist

• Cindy Sanyu (Boom Party)

Outstanding Hip Hop Artist

• Ffe Ffe Busi (Gamba Chwii)

Songwriter Award

• Liam Voice (Omwoyo)

Outstanding Dance Group

• Masaka Kids Africana (Tweyagale)

Outstanding Video Award

• Pia Pounds (Tupaate)

Outstanding Western Artist

• Ray G (Eizoba)

Outstanding Eastern Artist

• Rody Gavana (Akello)

Outstanding Northern Artist

• Profesa Maros (Centre)

Outstanding Faith Based Musician

• Levixone (Chikibombe)

Outstanding Contemporary/World Music

• Kenneth Mugabi (Oliwa)

Outstanding RnB Artist

• Liam Voice (Omwoyo)

Outstanding Reggae Artist

• Reggae Soldier (Mukulembeze)

Viewer’s Choice Award

• Eddy Kenzo

Humanitarian Award

• Levixone (Kosovo NGO)

Music Leadership and Inspiration Award

• Pastor Bugembe

Music Journalist Award

• Herbie Kay (Metro FM)

Outstanding Cultural/Folk

• Ndere Troupe (Soft Waists, No Bones-Ganda dance)

Outstanding Legendary Artist

• Moze Radio

Outstanding Entrepreneurial Artist

• Bobi Wine (One Love Beach)

Outstanding Afro Beat/Pop Artist

• Azawi (Slow Dancing)

Outstanding Afro-Zouk Artist

• B2C (Munda’awo)

Outstanding Performer

• Sheebah Karungi (Boy Fire)

Outstanding Vocalist

• Kenneth Mugabi (Nkwegomba)

Outstanding Audio Producer

• Nessin Pan Production

Outstanding Audio Producer Regional

• Masta Beatz

Outstanding Video Producer

• Sasha Vybz (Bebe Cool /Wire Wire)

Outstanding Video Producer Regional

• McElvis Onset (Rasta Swagg-Pi Naka)

Outstanding Dee – Jay

• Slick Stuart & Roja

Young Talent Award

• Fresh Kid (Bambi)

FILM & VIDEO Outstanding Film

• The Girl in the Yellow Jumper (Produced and Directed by Loukman Ali)

Outstanding Documentary

• I Won’t Kneel (Hilda Awori)

Outstanding TV Drama

• Baguma

Outstanding Animation Film

• A Kalabanda ate My Homework

Outstanding Actor

• Mushema Housen (Bed of Thorns, November Tear, Veronica’s Wish)

Outstanding Actress

• Prossy Mukisa – Baguma-Nabbosa (The Right Path, Blood and Pain)

Outstanding Director FIlm

• Ayenyi T.Steve (Kony, Order from Above, Kampala City)

Outstanding Costume Designer

• Esther Nakaziba (Bed of Thorns, 27 Guns, Honorables)

Outstanding Screen Play Writer

• Louis Muhereza

Outstanding Visual Effects

• 16 Rounds (A film that combines great cinematography with story and performance to a gripping effect)

Outstanding Producer

• Usama Mukwaya (Blind Date, 16 Rounds, The Girl in the Yellow Jumper)

Regional Film Award

• Obunkenke (A film locally produced in Busoga the lifestyle of the Basoga)

Film Student Award

• Isiko Abubaker (Engaito)

VISUAL ARTS & CRAFTS Outstanding Craftsman and Weaver

• Paul Bukenya Katamiira (Ugandan Bark Cloth Marker)

Outstanding Painter

• Ntensibe Joseph (Nature and Contemporary Artist)

Outstanding Sculptor

• Okwir Isaac (Managed to apply cubism style in his 3D bronze work)

Outstanding Photographer

• Edgar Batte

Outstanding Fashion Designer

• Abbas Kaijuka

Outstanding Stylist in Fashion

• Mavo Kampala

Outstanding Make-Up Artist

• Monafaces

Outstanding Graphics Designer

• Kirigoola Benon

Outstanding Interior Designer

• One100_int-ug

Outstanding Landscape Designer

• Divine Landscapes Ltd Outstanding Architect

• William Henry Ssentongo Outstanding Copywriter

• Henry Onen (I Choose Peace – IPOD)



Zura Maids (Written by Apio Otuko)

Children’s Storybook

Namulanda (By Waalabyeki Magoba)

Children’s Book Illustrator

Davis Bamwine

Fiction Writer

Beatrice Lamwaka (Butterfly Dreams)

Non- Fiction Writer

Charles Peter Mayiga (Work and Prosper)


Jimmy Spire Ssentongo

Newspaper/Magazine Columnist

Esther Namugogi (New Vision)

Online Newspaper

Nile Post

Kisaaka Elizabeth (Online)


Lucy Chihandae (Storyzfromyhair)

SOFTWARE & INNOVATIONS Outstanding Software Programmer

• Sedrick Otolo Outstanding Software Designer

• Loft Technologies

Outstanding App

• Afromobile

Outstanding Gaming Programmer

• Bulamu Net Games

Outstanding Innovator

• Zeenode Ltd

CULTURAL & NATIONAL HERITAGE Outstanding Community Museum

• Igongo Museum (South Western Uganda)

Outstanding Art Gallery

• Magezi Art Exhibition

Outstanding Community Library

• Kawempe Youth Centre

Outstanding Public Library

• Soroti Public Library (Soroti)

Domestic Tourism Award

• Trip Addicts

Indigenous Cultural Award (Folk Stories, Folk Song, Animation, Film, Rituals, Legends)

• Annet Nandujja (Folk Singer, composer and dancer)

Traditional Medicine Innovator Award

• Prof. Patrick Ogwang (Developer of Covidex)

SUPPORT SERVICES Outstanding Talent Manager

• Julius Kyazze

Outstanding Emcees

• MC Kats

Outstanding Promoters

• Talent Africa 256

Outstanding Event Producer

• Fenon Events


Outstanding Comedy Performance

• Uncle Mo Comedy (Kiboneka Moses) An online intellectual comedy show.

Outstanding Drama Production

• Empuuna Malungu; Bad Omen; a stage play Written by Mariam Ndagire; Produced by John Segawa and Directed by Abbey Mukiibi Nkaaga, under Afri-Talent Theatre Uganda.

Outstanding Theatre Production

• The Chains (a dance theatre performance Choreographed by Edward Ssembatya and Produced by Dance Theatre Uganda)

Outstanding Musical Production (Theatre and other mediums)

• Agape Concert (Produced by The Cherubim Chamber Chorale (TCCC), Directed and Conducted by Jude Luwaga.

Outstanding Dance Group (Contemporary)

• Masaka Kids Africana (Tweyagale)

Outstanding Dance Group (Folk)

• Kika Troupe (Nabalanga Musical Dance)

Outstanding Magician and Illusionist

• Jonathan The Magician

Outstanding Spoken Word (Including Bitontome)

• Ogenda Wa (Lule Ssebo)

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