PMB gospel duo reap the rewards

2014-10-21 00:00

THEIR tactic of singing in taxi ranks to try and impress commuters in KZN and Gauteng paid off for a Pietermaritzburg gospel duo.

The charismatic “Wise and Sbo” are elated at having bagged the Best Praise Singer award at the 9th annual South African Traditional Music Awards (Satma) over the weekend.

Wiseman Kunene and Sbongiseni Malembe were nominated in two categories, including the Most Downloaded Song from their 2011 debut album.

Travelling to East London in the Eastern Cape, where the award ceremony was held, the pair said they were sanguine and enthusiastic they would make the City of Choice and the province proud.

“When our name was called we ran to the stage in full force. We were frightened and extremely excited because it was our first award in the music industry,” said the grinning Kunene.

“This was a historic moment for us. We still cannot not believe the grace of God. We are the first gospel group in the province to win this category,” he added, admiring their trophy.

Malembe attributed the award to God and people who voted for them, saying their extensive campaign for votes paid off.

“God is alive. Our happiness belongs to God who has been guarding us until the ceremony day. We were positive that we would bag at least one of the two awards,” Malembe said.

He said it was the first time they had entered any awards and they preferred to win the Best Praise category rather the Most Downloaded Song category, which had only five nominations. “Our category was tough. We would sing in taxi ranks trying to convince people to vote for us and indeed they believed in us. We are grateful and speechless.”

The pair have now set their sights on the South African Music Awards in May next year as they have received an invitation to enter.

Kunene added, “This gives us hope and encourages us to work hard to defend our award next year.”

The pair sing the popular song uMona (Jealous).

• khanyisani.dlomo@witness.co.za

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