Originally published in IOL Tonight
The sixth annual SABC Crown Gospel Awards have come and gone in another year that was full of surprises. The ceremony, which was hosted by gospel singer Thabo Mdluli and singer and dancer Thembi Seete, was held at Durban’s International Conference Centre on Sunday.
The biggest surprise of the night came in the form of Dumi Mkokstad (pictured), the man who won the highly contested Best Song Award, an accolade which also had Mxolisi Mbethe, Thobekile Mkhwanazi and Andile KaMajola vying for it. Mkokstad won the gong for his chart topper Mbize.
Still on surprises, veteran gospel musician, Vicky Vilakazi, came out tops in the Best Female category where she squared off against Lusanda Mcinga, Hlengiwe Mhlaba and Winnie Mashaba.
In the Best Male category, Jabu Hlongwane went home the winner over his fellow Joyous Celebrations buddies, Nqubeko Mbatha and Patrick Duncan, who were also in the running.
Although she may have lost to Vilakazi in the Best Female category, Mashaba was vindicated when she scooped the Best Gospel Artist Award which was also contested by Ntokozo Mbambo, Israel Mosehla and Jabu Hlongwane.
Although we had speculated that The Plain Truth would own the Best Rock category, the award ended up going to Niel Higgins whose album We Lift You Up is a classic.
However, we did get it right when we predicted The Plain Truth would soar in the Best Engineer category as they did an excellent job on All In.
We interviewed KaMajola not so long ago and he spoke about his video uJehova Ungibiyele and was right to be proud of it as it turned out to be the Best Video of the year, according to the Crown Gospel Awards.
Hailing from Pretoria is Tebs David, who won an award in the Best Community Outreach category. For years David has lamented the fact that he doesn’t feel appreciated in his own country, which explains why he is always performing overseas where he has a steady fanbase. This award should put the spotlight on him and help him to build a bigger following at home.
The all-girl group, Simply Chrysolite, did wonders by clinching the Best Gospel Group accolade because it was heavily contested, with Soweto Gospel Choir and Tshwane Gospel Choir also in the game.
The Best Traditional Gospel gong was picked up by Lufuno Dagada who fought for it against Phathwakahle Kunene, Lusanda Spiritual Groups and Jabu.
Cjay, whose Jesus Freak picked up the Gospel Rap award said: “I’ve always said Jesus Freak Yes I Am, the album, is the soundtrack to a movement of the unashamed youth in our nation. I am just honoured to receive this award not just for me, but for them, and for that I give God the glory!” reports Merchant Music in a media release.
The proceedings went smoothly and had some of the industry’s biggest celebrities in the music, TV and film industries in attendance.
The full list of winners is:
• Best GOSPEL RAP: Cjay – Jesus Freak
• BEST WORSHIP SONG: Sicelo Moya – Awesome
• BEST PRAISE SONG: Worship House – Batho Retang Morena
• CLASSIC OF ALL TIME: Hlengiwe Mhlaba – UJesu uyalalela
• BEST NEWCOMER: Shaun P – Everyday
• BEST DVD: Spiritual of Praise vol. 4 – Live @ Carnival City
• BEST FEMALE: Vicky Vilakazi
• BEST TRADITIONAL: Lufuno Dagada – My Practical God
• BEST MALE: Jabu Hlongwane
• BEST GOSPEL MUSIC VIDEO: Andile KaMajola – UJehova ungibiyele
• BEST CONTEMPORARY SONG: DAVID DAYO – Track 3
• BEST JAZZ: Mabongi Mabaso – Tshama
• BEST ACAPELLA: Ithimba Le Africa – Hamba noJesu
• BEST ROCK: Niel Higgins – We lift you up
• BEST POP GOSPEL: Zama and Voice Ministries – The pleasure of praise
• BEST CHURCH CHOIR: Christian Family Church
• BEST GOSPEL GROUP: Simply Chrysolite
• GOSPEL POETRY: Sbo da Poet
• BEST COLLABORATION: Takie Ndou – Psalmist
• BEST GOSPEL PRODUCER: Nathi Zungu Umlondi – Nathi Zungu
• BEST SONG WRITER: Andile KaMajola – UJehova ungibiyele
• BEST R&B GOSPEL: Bongi & Collin – Live Again
• BEST COMMUNITY OUTREACH (ARTIST/GROUP): Tebs David
• BEST ENGINEER: The Plain Truth Band All in
• BEST OF AFRICA GOSPEL: Brother Peter – Mozambique
• BEST COMMUNITY OUTREACH – CHURCH: DURBAN CHRISTIAN CENTRE
• BEST GOSPEL SONG: Dumi Mkokstad – Mbize
• BEST GOSPEL ARTIST: Winnie Mashaba
• BEST AMAZION (SOLO/GROUP): Ukuphila kweGuardian
• BEST GOSPEL RADIO SHOW – COMMUNITY: THAMSANQA NTOMBELA – IMBOKODO FM
• BEST GOSPEL TV SHOW: IT’S GOSPEL TIME
• BEST GOSPEL RADIO SHOW – COMMERCIAL/PBS: UMHLOBO WENENE