Drum chats to Zanele Mbokazi, the founder of the Crown Gospel Music Awards
Tell me about the preparations for this year’s Crown Gospel Awards.
We are hectic but this is a good kind of hectic. This is the busiest time for us. Of course hosting something like the Crown awards takes some doing and it requires a lot from you.
These are the first Crowns you’re hosting as a married woman.
You would imagine there would be too much pressure but it’s the other way round: I’ve got somebody to hold my hand, to rub my feet, to pray with me… my husband’s great support system in terms of prayer.
Somehow the Bishop (Bishop Mpendulo Nkambule) must be missing you with your hectic schedule?
Yes, he does. But he’s also involved: he’s also assisting whenever he can… but yes, with all the preparations and my hectic schedule he and the kids are missing me now.
You are both in the ministry. How does that work?
It works very well. We both minister the word just in different levels. He’s my bishop and I submit to him. I’m more of a business person. He’s a spiritual leader of the home. Bottom line he’s the leader of the home. It works very well; we complement each other.
Just on a lighter note… do you ever preach for him sometimes at home? Like do you ever rehearse your sermons together?
It’s not rehearsal; we share! We debate a lot on the scriptures. We’d do a Bible study together and debate seriously on spiritual things. He’s got a knack to come up with serious revelations that make me feel like a child. I learn a lot from him.
With regards to the show, what are you most excited about this year?
I’m excited about the growth - the tickets for the show are sold out! The demand’s so crazy for the tickets, all 6000 of them, are sold out. I’m also very excited about the spirit within the gospel industry. At the nomination party we invited 150 people but surprisingly 300 people showed up. That to me said ‘the people are saying we are supporting you’. I’m also excited about churches across the board who have been praying for us.
Are you doing things differently this year?
Things are a bit different: this year we are celebrating Vuyo Mokoena- we’ll be paying a tribute to him. It’ll be interesting to gauge the opinion of the society through social media- what they think about him and how they’d like to remember him. The other thing is we have nominations from 17 other African countries besides South Africa. It’s great to have these countries also involved.
What are the plans regarding Msholozi(President Jacob Zuma)? Is he going to grace the occasion this year?
He’s always invited- he said in the past he’ll never miss the awards. We believe he’ll come through again unless something of national importance comes up.
You seem to get along fine with him.
Khuzeka (Stop it!). ..He’s my president!
Do you pray for him?
Yes absolutely! As World Gospel PowerHouse we pray for him. In fact we just don’t pray for him because we feel like it… it’s a directive from the Bible that we should pray for our leaders.
Do you plan to move the awards to other provinces?
We said we are happy to move them anywhere. The reason we are in KZN is because of the support we get from the KZN government. The support we are getting from the provincial government is amazing.
What else are you looking forward to?
Personally I’m looking forward to being beautiful. Also, I’m looking forward to an electrifying red carpet. We have done our part to make sure the awards are a grand occasion. I can’t wait to enjoy a spirit-filled, beautiful show.
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