South African gospel veteran singers, Pastor Benjamin Dube and Rebecca Malope, were crowned king and queen of gospel music in Africa on Sunday night.
They bagged the best male artist and best female artist awards respectively at the inaugural Trumpet Africa Gospel Music Awards (Tagma).
The South African State Theatre played host to a large contingent of gospel artists from around the African continent and the Diaspora when the Tagmas were introduced to the public.
The best artist award was snatched by Uche, the Nigerian vocalist who has featured on Joyous Celebration’s shows.
The continental awards are the brainchild of businesswoman Zanele Mbokazi who also runs the Crown Gospel Music Awards.
The Soweto Gospel Choir set the ball rolling for the new awards when they bagged the first gong, for best gospel Group accolade, disposing of formidable competition from Burundi, Kenya and Rwanda.
In his acceptance speech, Dube said he enjoyed positive support from fellow pastors and his sons, the Dube Brothers trio.
“I want to say that Africa was never behind but God was preserving it for this time. He kept Africa safe and hidden for the right [time] to come. This is time for the continent to rise up and take its God-given position,” he said.
“We do not have to apologise to anyone because we stayed in seclusion for so long. We can come out and say truly God has prepared us for this time.
“This is our time and let us use it wisely.”
Malope could not make it to the event as she was on duty in Zimbabwe, according to a radio presenter from that country who presented the trophy.
Dube accepted it on Malope’s behalf.
Malope, host of SABC2’s Gospel Time, trumped Gloria from Kenya, Nigerian export Patricia King and Nigerian-born Isabella who is based in the UK.
Another moment of pride for the locals was when Solly Mahlangu won the best song accolade for Wahamba Nathi.
“I go to different countries on the continent and wherever I go, they sing this song in their own languages. I feel very humbled,” Mahlangu said.
Some of the celebrities present were television personality Thabiso Mokheti, radio personality Criselda Dudumashe, actor Macdonald Ndou, actress Sophie Ndaba, activist and Trompies member Eugene Mthethwa, actor Tony Kgoroge and his wife Sthandiwe.
The ceremony, hosted by Thami Ngubeni, included pyrotechnics and spectacular dancers, along with a live band.
The mood swayed from jovial to upbeat with performances by the Reverend Elias Shongwe of Shongwe and Khuphuka Saved Group from Swaziland who sang their hit Amazulu Avumile to a revival-type atmosphere where Dube sang worship songs like El Shaddai Adonai.
Source: Sowethan Live