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Gospel awards to revive fading genre

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Gospel awards to revive fading genre
REVIVING GOSPEL: Joel Keitumele

#14 categories up for grabs

Gospel music, a genre that has waned in popularity on the local scene in recent years, is set to revive its appeal with the first ever Gospel awards ceremony.

The show, dubbed the Annual Gospel Awards (AGA), is scheduled for June 30 at the Tlotlo Hotel conference centre with 14 categories up for grabs on the night.

The nominees will be announced by the end of March, whilst the closing date for registration has been set for March 16.

Speaking to Voice Entertainment this week, one of the event organiser’s, Rebaone Keitumele (Ntsoro) explained that the awards would be history in the making.

“The ceremony will be the first of its kind as we have never had Gospel awards locally. We have finalised the categories and they have tallied up to 14,” noted the Gospel singer turned pastor.

Keitumele admitted Gospel has struggled to stay relevant in Botswana, highlighting a lack of releases from its stars as one of the main problems.

He also cited a lack of competition between the genre’s artists as having contributed to its decline.

However, he expressed his hope that the awards would help revive the fading genre by creating some much needed hype and excitement.

“The truth of the matter is unlike other genres a gospel artist is not able to host shows as often as they would have wished. We also noted that there was a time when local Gospel music was at its peak back in the day, but it has since been on a downward spiral,” Keitumele added.

On the day there will be a surprise international act who will perform at the awards ceremony as well as announcing one of the categories.

The judging panel will consist of a five-man team, including two judges from South Africa.

The judges’ vote will be worth 60 percent with the other 40 made up from the general public.

The categories are:

  • Legendary artist
  • Best female artist
  • Best male artist
  • Best Accapella
  • Best Traditional gospel
  • Best contemporary
  • Best newcomer
  • Best Gospel producer
  • Best TV gospel show
  • Best Clap and Tap
  • Best Gospel song
  • Best community outreach (church)
  • Best Media house
  • Best Print Journalist