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.
The proceedings went smoothly and had some of the industry’s biggest celebrities in the music, TV and film industries in attendance.