Jamila Mustafa, a nationally recognized millennial voice, television personality and broadcast journalist from Wilmington, will host the 90-minute MTV Video Music Awards preshow this weekend.
“I attended the VMAs last year,” Mustafa said. “This year I’ll be hosting the preshow, the longest preshow in VMA history.”
There are quite a few firsts this year for the VMAs, including being the first music award show being held partly live since the COVID-19 pandemic began in March.
“Everyone had to get tested more than once,” said Mustafa, “The whole show will be socially distanced. This is the first time it’s been done like this.”
Mustafa said this year’s show, which starts at 6:30 p.m. on MTV, will be similar to the VMAs of the past, having interviews and live performances, as well as the awards, but socially distanced and COVID friendly.
Part of the show will be live and other parts will be prerecorded.
Her role is also a first for anyone from the First State.
“I’m the first person to host any part of the VMAs who’s from Delaware,” she said.
Jamila a former Miss Delaware State University, worked for a number of radio shows, including for iheartradio and SiriusXM Volume before hosting MTVs TRL. She was also the host for Delaware’s first virtual Ladybug Festival in the spring.
“There’s not a whole lot of representation from Delaware,” said Mustafa. “A lot of people assume I’m from New York. They don’t know I’m from Delaware and sometimes don’t know where Delaware is.”
Mustafa said that she sees so much unrecognized talent in the state and hopes that her being the preshow host this year could bring a boost for local talent.
“Wilmington’s slogan is “A place to be somebody,” Mustafa said. “I grew up thinking about how I was going to be somebody without an example. Delaware didn’t have any real good TV or radio stations growing up like Philly and Baltimore did. Eventually I learned that you don’t have to have an example.”
Jamila continues to work with MTV, as well as hosting radio shows and looking forward to an upcoming Forbes highlight.
“I feel like a female Carson Daly, except I’m 27 and black,” she said.
Mustafa says that in the next few months she would like to begin working on something that highlights Delaware artists.
“I want to highlight media talent in Delaware,” said Mustafa, “Something like a collective or expo. They did 302 over a year and a half ago, but I want this to be a reoccurring thing.”
Mustafa stressed the importance of local communities supporting arts and artists.
“We need studios, producers and the support of the Tri-state area to do this,” Mustafa said. “We need Delaware to rally behind local artists the way other states rally behind their artists.”