Best of the best at awards

2008-08-26 00:00

PIETERMARITZBURG gospel group, Sounds of Salvation (SOS) made history in the first SABC Crown Gospel Awards when it scooped the Best Newcomer award at the Chief Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre in Durban on Sunday night. SOS ousted Tshepiso and Andile kaMajola in their category.

Marking the inauguration of this event, the late Vuyo Mokoena was honoured posthumously with the Best Male Gospel Artist. Mokoena died as the result of a brain tumour in June. Other nominees in the category were Benjamin Dube and Jabu Hlongwane and Sechaba.

Deborah Fraser won the Best Female Gospel Artist. The Durban-born singer scooped the award, which Hlengiwe Mhlaba, Ntokozo Mbambo and Lusanda were also vying for.

Benjamin Dube made up for the loss of the Best Male award when he won the Best Praise and Worship award. There was no surprise when Joyous Celebration took the Best Gospel Group award for their album In the Shadow. This category was tightly contested with the likes of Limpopo’s Worship House, Gauteng’s IPCC and the Eastern Cape’s Lord Comforters competing for the award.

Ncandweni Christ Ambassadors stole the show by winning the category for the Best Gospel Song as well as the Best Selling Gospel Album. Sipho Makhabane from Swaziland won the Best Traditional Gospel Award with Ngiyamemeza. Jabu Hlongwane’s album The Cross Power Experience won the Best Album

Contemporary Traditional.

The behind-the-scenes awards were highly contested. Durban-born music mogul Lindelani Mkhize was awarded the Best Producer for his work with Joyous Celebration.

The legendary Condry Ziqubu’s band, Condry Ziqubu Brass Band, won the Best Gospel Instrumental. The Best Song Writer was awarded to Durban’s singer and songwriter Andile KaMajola, Umyalezo Wesikhathi were awarded the Best Accapella award.

The Best DVD was awarded to Gauteng’s group The Plain Truth, who were up against Rebecca Malope, Benjamin Dube and Joyous Celebration. The Best Music Video was awarded to Worship House, while Galathia Indlunkulu won the Best AmaZion title.

The Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to gospel queen Rebecca Malope. Ribs, as she is known to hordes of gospel fans who have seen her perform all around the world, started her music career in the early 1980s. Her first 10 gospel albums went gold and the last six platinum. She has sold more than one million albums. When she was 21 years old she and her sister left home and hiked 400 kilometres to Evaton from where they eventually reached Johannesburg. She entered the Shell Road to Fame competition but was unsuccessful and entered again in 1987 whereupon she won the Best Female Vocalist category. Together with Sizwe Zako and Peter Tladi, she raised enough money to record her first album which reached gold status in a matter of weeks. The Lekazi, Nelspruit, Mpumalanga-born singer presents Gospel Time on SABC 2 and she is a successful businesswoman.

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