Honours within the gospel music circuit by means of grand award ceremonies or events are rare in Africa and particularly Ghana; at least statistics prove this with a relatively sparse occurrence over the decade and even after the advent of commercial radio which evolved the genre to the public fray, one which once was limited to the four corners of the Church.
Therefore whether it is by sheer coincidence that July 9, will kick start a changing precedence afterwards or not still remains to be seen with two prestigious awards ceremonies taking place simultaneously this Saturday- the Africa Gospel Music Awards (AGMA) and Ghana Gospel Industry Awards (GGIA).
Significantly, the Africa Gospel Music Awards (AGMA) which seeks to honour gospel music ministers and its associated industry players and organisations on the continent or of African descent, enters its second year with an international dimension and will be held at the plush Lighthouse Hall in London. Interestingly, on the same day will mark the first edition of the Ghana Gospel Industry Awards (GGIA) being put together by one of Ghana’s notable FM Stations, Adom FM, at the National Theatre.
Speaking to Charles Koranteng, Co-founder of AGMA and Public Relations Co-ordinator of AGMA 2011 from his London base on behalf of the organising team, he reiterated that, ‘We are extremely excited about the Africa Gospel Music Awards (2011), which appears to be growing from strength to strength. This year’s event has assumed an international dimension, which has always been our intention. We are looking forward to the 9th of July where the best of the best of Africa Gospel Music will gather to primarily appreciate and celebrate each other, but more importantly bless the name of our Heavenly Father. We are already receiving invitations from various countries wishing to host next year’s event, so this is truly an exciting time for us. African gospel music has finally arrived!’
The maiden event last year was a memorable one, however, this year’s promises to be bigger and better as tickets are sold out and patrons from all over the world have already arrived to honour this grand occasion. The awards ceremony will assume a festive mode with a pomp celebration of live music ministrations from a rich line up of some anointed gospel music ministers from the continent and those based abroad including Sonnie Badu, Eben, Uche Agu, Sinach, Kenny K’ore, RoofTop MC’s, Victizzle, Diana Hamilton, Mahali Selepe, Aaron T. Aaron, Rebecca and many more.
Ghana received the highest number of nominations for a country overhauling the nominations list with well over 25 nominations having had the likes of Cwesi Oteng, No Tribe, Sonnie Badu, Nii Okai, Joyful Way Incorporated, Joe Mettle, Cecilia Marfo, Ohemaa Mercy, Diana Hamilton, Royal Priesthood, among others nominated plus special nominatios for radio personality Phiphi Pholson of Sunny FM who recently won the Best Gospel Show Host at the recently held Radio and TV Personality Awards and a media organisation such as Adom FM and Ghana’s vibrant gospel ministry Impact Project for their remarkable events: Evolution and Adom Praiz concerts respectively.
According to organisers of the maiden Ghana Gospel Industry Awards (GGIA) scheduled for the National Theatre, Adom FM is aiming at making GGIA the best known organization behind the gospel music industry’s most prestigious honour. In a release, Lawrence Tamakloe, Events and Promotions executive at Adom FM, disclosed that “the GGIA aims at encouraging excellence in the gospel music industry through a range of coveted awards. While the crystal plaques on offer – symbol to be admired around the world – are aimed at acknowledging the very best level of achievement, every other form of the GGIA recognition, be it a certificate or other form of trophy, is targeted at carrying significance like none other in the gospel music industry in Ghana.”
The awards’ Academy, made up of music and entertainment experts tasked to review entries, has released the final list of nominees in 17 categories covering a whole range of products from gospel spectrum like songs, videos and albums will be honoured on July 9. The GGIA will also honour outstanding personalities that have contributed immensely to the growth and development of the gospel industry with the Honorary Award of the year. The academy’s vote constitutes 60% of the total vote while the remaining 40% determined by the general public vote (via txt to short code 1739 on all networks).
Artistes gunning for honours include Cecelia Marfo, No Tribe, Cwesi Oteng, Christiana Love, Florence Obinim, Ernest Opoku, Herty Borngreat, Nana Akorsa, Frimpong Brothers, Cecy Twum, Cee/Isaac/Ampong, Nacy, among others. Though some gospel music fans have raised concerns that the Awards is skewed mainly towards mainstream gospel with virtually little representation from the Contemporary (Urban) Ghanaian gospel music circuit in Cwesi Oteng, and the relevance of the category for Alternative Gospel Song of the Year which identified artistes of genres other than gospel being nominated, it is believed the first edition will provide a platform for taking into account productive concerns and rectifying them in subsequent editions.
One thing worth noting is how the year is turning into for Contemporary Ghanaian Gospel sensation Cwesi Oteng whose ‘Mercy’ (But for Your Mercy) song and video are earning him huge recognition all over the world. Firstly, it earned him nomination for New Discovery of the Year and Best Video of Year in AGMA and then the GGIA where he received multiple nominations in the category of Best New Artist, Songwriter, Video and Male Vocalist of the Year. All are coming together in a year he is scheduled to outdoor his Mercy Project- a Music and Social Cause Projec- later in the year with the pre-launch concert of the project on July 17 at the National Theatre. Cecilia Marfo and No Tribe are also following similar trend in terms of recognition this year.
Come Saturday, July 9, two prestigious gospel music awards AGMA and GGIA will be held concomitantly in London and Accra respectively and it is expected to kick start a changing order for recognition within the gospel fraternity in Ghana and on the continent. Good luck to all nominees and may Ghana shine bright in London all to the glory of the Lord.
|Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are those of the writers and do not reflect those of Peacefmonline.com. Peacefmonline.com accepts no responsibility legal or otherwise for their accuracy of content. Please report any inappropriate content to us, and we will evaluate it as a matter of priority.|