Durban — The young and upcoming gospel singer Nelisiwe Skhosana walked away with the coveted Gospel Icon Discovery (GID) competition 2023 award, winning R50 000, which she said will change her life for the better, forever.
The KwaMashu-born gospel songbird said when she heard of the competition, hosted by eThekwini Municipality’s parks, arts and culture department, she decided to enter.
The competition took place at a packed Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre on Sunday, where the three young women vying for the GID 2023 honours, battled it out, each rendering two items to wow the judges and the audience.
The three, Skhosana, Neliswa Dlamini and Sindi Ngidi, vied for the coveted title, singing their hearts out. Among the judges, was former Idols SA competition winner and Pastor Khaya Mthethwa. The audience sang and danced to the contestants’ music.
An excited Skhosana, who could not hold back her happiness after winning the competition, said she was inspired by previous winners of the competition and did her best to take this year’s title.
The competition was introduced in 2014, to give the youth of eThekwini and surrounding areas an opportunity to change their lives through gospel music.
eThekwini councillor Sibusiso Cele said the municipality’s aim was to encourage the youth of eThekwini to participate in events that are meant to improve and bring quality and dignity to, their lives.
“We believe this competition is the stage for the youth to use in order to transform their lives. Music has the power to make people persistent and always clamour to conquer any hurdle stacked against them,” Cele said.
Skhosana who won a trophy and R50 000 said the money would help her realise her dream of honing her skills through music lessons.
“My family have always supported me, and in whatever I do I always know that they will be my pillar of support. This will change my life in many ways, and I plan to hold it with both hands, and run with it,” an elated Skhosana said.
She encouraged other young people, especially those from underprivileged backgrounds, to embrace all opportunities made available to them.
“You may never know what God has created for you, to change your life around. Just sitting around and doing nothing in your little corner will never bring you anything, but the name of the game is to grab every opportunity that comes your way, and make the best use of it,” Skhosana advised.
Chief whip and representative councillor Sinegugu Sishange thanked the participants and their families for embracing the competition.
She said those who supported the entrants must be applauded because without their support this music extravaganza would not have been successful.
“We are grateful to those parents and other stakeholders that put their weight behind the wheel, to ensure that this day becomes a success.
“Tonight the ICC is alive with music, dance and much fanfare, all because you took the challenge the council posed on you, and ran with it,” Sishange said to the three finalists.
Competition adjudicator and music icon Mthethwa pleaded with eThekwini to provide the winner with much-needed support in terms of music producers, music directors and sponsorships, that will keep her focussed and give her a platform to thrive in the music industry, which was mostly very “cut-throat”.
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