Sat | Oct 24, 2020

Buju, Koffee top IRAWMA 2019 nominations

Published:Friday | January 31, 2020 | 12:00 AMMarcia Rowe/Gleaner Writer
The ASHE Company performs at IRAWMA media launch.
Dennis Al Capone performs at IRAWMA Media Launch.
IRIE FM’s Nicholas Evans addresses guests at IRAWMA media launch.
Papa Michigan performs at IRAWMA media launch.
Bongo Herman performs at IRAWMA media launch.
Ephraim Martin addresses guests at IRAWMA media launch.

From atop The Jamaica Pegasus hotel, organisers of the International Reggae and World Music Awards (IRAWMA) announced their 2019 nominees, with Buju Banton and Koffee heading the list – 11 and nine nods, respectively. Media personalities and music industry insiders gathered at the glitzy Talk of the Town to hear who among local and international entertainers got the nominations in categories which include the Emperor of Reggae and World Music – Hon Bob Marley Award for Entertainer of the Year.

Buju Banton and Koffee are contenders in that category and will also receive special awards at the black-tie, red-carpet event, under the theme ‘Reggae Run’, scheduled for Sunday, March 29, at the AC Marriott hotel in Kingston.

Other nominees for the ultimate entertainer of the year title are Busy Signal, Damian ‘Jr Gong’ Marley and Popcaan.

Banton also made the list for the new category, Best Dancehall Stagecraft Entertainer, where he will go up against Elephant Man, Ravers Clavers, Spice and Tommy Lee.

Ephraim Martin, president of Martin’s International, organisers of IRAWMA, told the gathering that the nominees were selected by the music industry, and that 140 persons had been nominated at the close of ballot last week.

Martin was later joined by representatives of sponsors in announcing the full slate of the nominees in the whopping 40 categories.

Josef Bogdanovich, of Downsound Records, is one of the nominees.

He told The Gleaner he was happy to be nominated for the Marcus Garvey Humanitarian Award.

“I am happy I actually qualified,” he said. “We are so busy working and raising the bar, when these things happen, I’m just overwhelmed. I guess it is a stage, an experience in your life. It’s like a signature.”

He will be up against Bounty Killer, Buju Banton, Capelton Charity and Sonia Patterson.

IRAWMA’s mission, “to honour and acknowledge the accomplishment and contribution of reggae and world music artistes”, will be manifested through recognising the continued work of 20 members of the music industry.


Reggae/dancehall toaster Dennis ‘Al Capone’ Smith will be one of the recipients of this Lifetime Achievement Award.

“It’s a wonderful feeling,” he told The Gleaner. “After the work you have put in, and to see at the end of the day you are getting some acclaim.”

The sponsors for the 38th IRAWMA – the fifth to be held in Jamaica – were also recognised.

Entertainment was provided by Bongo Heraman, Papa Michigan, and Al Capone, as well as the ASHE Company, whose energetic performance left MC Norma Bell nearly breathless.

To vote for your favourites and for more information, persons are being asked to go to