To honour excellence, creativity, authenticity and diligence within the Contemporary Gospel music genre, content development and production company Raaloe Media launched the Annual MzansiGospel Awards on 26 March 2015. This is to endorse the rise of contemporary gospel as a steadfast and pioneering niche to secure a stable future for the long standing gospel genre.
Artists, record labels, music organisations, industry professionals and members of the media gathered at the intimate Hackle Brooke Conference Centre in Johannesburg, Graighall to become part of history as the first gospel music awards focusing on contemporary gospel were launched in South Africa.
Edzani Eezy Ratshikhopha, Managing Director of Raaloe Media says, “This initiative is not to compete with or discredit other existing awards initiatives, however to respond to the fast growing need to promote and represent unique work as the industry evolves daily. As a content development and production company, mostly but not limited to creating high quality Christian-focussed content, we recognise peculiarity, innovation and hard-work; it is under this base that the awards.”
The initiative has been welcomed with warmth as industry members expressed their support and endorsed it as an important development in the music industry. Representatives from SAMRO, Radio Pulpit and Christian Art were amongst the many relevant stakeholders who were in attendance and shared words of support.
The awards initiative has also bagged support from Move! Magazine as a print media partner, Association for Christian Media (ACM) and Faith Broadcasting Network will broadcast the monumental event to a viewership of over 20 million throughout the African Continent. Discussions are underway to bring more partners on board.
For many years our awards shows have been characterized with racial preferance, though it’s all been Christian awards we have had the black/white thing still prevelent. Yesterday started a new generation of awards for the South African Christian Industry, a rainbow nation awards that will follow in the Spirit of the late Honorable Nelson Mandela.
Today in South Africa gospel music it is dubbed as the biggest genre and has maintained a status of ‘best-selling’ for years. In recent years this evolution has come through the emergence of new role players that came and inspired a new paradigm shift, introducing a fresh sound characterised by afro jazz, pop, rock, neo-soul, and hip hop influences infused into the traditional sound. MzansiGospel Awards also aim’s to bridge a gap in the industry and give platforms to artist who do not necessarily fit in the traditional gospel box.
MzansiGospel Awards initiative advocates for the acknowledgment of contemporary gospel music artists as important catalysts who are essentially contributing to the evolution, sustainability and world-class standard of the gospel genre. They are also to promote the integration of artists from diverse racial and cultural backgrounds, and advocating for fair representation in the media space.
Yesterday’s launch was also to serve as an official call to artists (both signed and independent), record companies, industry professionals, and composers to make submissions as a standard entry rule to undergo the nomination process. The closing date for entries is 24 April 2015.
Categories were carefully structured in line with the objectives of the awards. The aim is to capture all the aspect within the contemporary gospel space; from artists, songwriters, engineers, producers, to sound influences, album packaging, DVD quality, and music video creativity.
For further information about entry guidelines and rules, categories, selection criteria, nominations processes, voting and entry forms, please visit http://www.mzansigospel.co.za/rules/