VOTING is officially open for the 16th Metro FM Awards set to take place at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre (ICC) in Durban on 25 February for the fifth time.The nominees were announced last Tuesday at a party in Bryanston. The awards have 22 categories with this year’s theme being “What’s Next Is All That Matters”. The awards have gained esteem after the station announced that every award winner in each category will also be pocketing R100 000.Newcomer and Durban kwaito queen, Babes Wodumo, is among artists from KwaZulu-Natal who have earned nominations. Wodumo has been nominated in four categories, including the much-contested Song of the Year for her hit single Wololo.Durban kwaito duo, DJ Tira and Sox, known as “Durban’s Finest”, reunited last year after a seven-year separation and produced the hit single Umsindo featuring Professor, also one of the nominees. Durban’s Finest is also up for the Song of the Year and the Best Group awards. This is another milestone for Durban’s Finest after they celebrated a milestone beginning this month with their music video reaching a million views on YouTube.Another Durban kwaito artist up for a nomination is L’vovo Derango, who is nominated in the Best Kwaito category for his freshest single, Ama Tintin, released in November.On the gospel front, KZN is represented by Khaya Mthethwa, who has been nominated for the Urban Gospel award. Mthethwa is going up against Dr Tumi, Lebo Sekgobela, Joyous Celebration and We Will Worship.Another bona fide sensation taking the music industry by storm is IdolsSA contestant Amanda Black. Black is leading the pack at the Metro FM Awards with five nominations. She released her album Amazululast year and has now been nominated for African Pop, Best Female Album, Best Newcomer, Best RnB Single and Song of the Year.Voting lines opened on 18 January and will close on Sunday 12 February. Only 500 votes per number will be eligible to vote in each category.