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In the quest to honour gospel musicians who have stood the test of time by remaining resolute to preaching the word of God, the Music Council of Zimbabwe has come up with the Zimbabwe Gospel Awards set to be launched in October.

The artistes to be honoured are those who have released their projects between the period of January 2014 and July 2015. In an interview with The Herald Entertainment, event spokesperson Hariet Masanganise said they wanted to honour those who have worked tirelessly to make sure that the genre is what it is today. “Gospel music has grown to a level where we can no longer keep it behind church doors alone. The time has come to redefine this genre to fit in today’s modern times, yet remaining true to the message of the cross.

“It is also time to recognise and reward those that have excelled in this genre in the hope that it will inspire not only them but all artistes to aimfor higher levels in their craft. That in a nutshell is the inspiration for the Gospel Music Awards, The awards are pitched to be the premier awards ceremony recognising accomplishments in the Zimbabwean gospel music recording and performing industry,” she said. She said that they feel of all the musicians in the country, the Zimbabwean gospel musicians are being left behind in terms of being honoured. “A cursory look at the Zimbabwean music industry will reveal a lack of any meaningful system of reward or recognition for gospel artistes compared to their secular counterparts. Indeed, a few have been honoured at the Zimbabwe Music Awards, National Arts Merit Awards but there has never an exclusive gospel event,” she said.

She said the event that is to be held at 7 Arts Theatre is going to be full of glitz and glamour.

“All glitz, glamour and class attendant to any world-class event is guaranteed under a decent and spirit-filled atmosphere at the Zimbabwe Gospel Music Awards. “The event will have all the trappings of a world-class awards, as it features red carpet, and unforgettable performances from top artistes – musicians, comedians, among others,” she said.

Several gospel musicians who declined to be named said this was a good intiative as long as the organisers fulfilled their pledges. Artistes in the genre are still smarting from the debacle in which veteran Machanic Manyeruke, who was promised a Jaguar XF that never was in recognition of his achievements.

Below are the awards’ categories:

Best Female Gospel Artiste

Best Male Gospel Artiste

Best DuoGroup

Best Newcomer Album of the Year

Song of the Year

Best Traditional Music Album

Best Contemporary Choral Album

Best Traditional Choral Album

Best Hip-Hop Album

Best Reggae

Best Jazz Album

Best Alternative Music

Best Music Video

Best Producer

Best Engineer Lifetime Achievement

The last award goes to the recording artiste, director, producer or engineer who has contributed to the development of the gospel music industry in Zimbabwe

Source : The Herald