The charitable side of... The Mobo Awards

Indira Das-Gupta

Plagued by a lyrical controversy last year, the Mobo awards is linking with Save the Children this time around.

The Mobo (Music of Black Origin) Awards hit the headlines last year for all the wrong reasons.

The organisers had to withdraw nominations for dancehall reggae artists Elephant Man and Vybz Kartel, who were accused of homophobia.

This year, the organisers are keen to ensure more positive media coverage by playing up the charitable credentials. Kanya King, the founder of the awards, was inspired to choose Save the Children as the official charity after watching a report about the fight against malaria in Africa.

She said: "I hope that this year's 10th Anniversary Mobo Awards will provide a platform for the issue to an audience that might not otherwise be aware of malaria's effect on children around the world."

Tomorrow's event at the Royal Albert Hall in London will mark the beginning of a year-long partnership. Mobo and the charity will visit universities across the country to target a younger generation of would-be supporters.

A spokeswoman for Save the Children said: "What we will gain isn't so much monetary, although there will be fundraising events throughout the year. It will help us raise awareness of malaria and its effect on children with an audience we wouldn't otherwise reach."

In 2004 the awards were broadcast to more than 250 million people in 30 countries. That number is set to grow this year, and the ceremony will be screened on BBC1 on Friday, so the UK audience could be higher than ever.

The Mobos has previously supported a number of charities, although it does not select an official charity every year. Before Save the Children, the most recent official charity was Barnardo's in 2003.

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