The Gospel Music Awards (GMA), which collapsed in 2010, have sprung back to life to become beacon of excellence, diversity and dynamism in the industry.
GMA chairperson Kondwani Magela told the press in Malawiâ€™s commercial city, Blantyre, they have invited President Joyce Banda to grace the presentation gala on December 28.
He said gospel music boasts high visibility as well as excellence and the accolades seek to encourage and reward star players who â€œnourish the soul of the nationâ€.
â€œGMA is not a competition, but something to recognise and celebrate tremendous strides in the gospel music,â€ said Magela on Thursday.
He disclosed that 12 awards are up for grabs, including urban music which is often associated with profanity. The wannabes will be nominated by media houses and music lovers. The public can send nominations via SMS to 50333 which cost K25.
â€œAfterwards, an awards panel will shortlist three finalists in each category for the final public vote. The nominees with the highest tally will get the accolades, certificates of achievements and cash prizes in the excess of K100 000 at the gala,â€ said Magela.
Gospel Music Association chairperson, Bishop Charles Burton, congratulated GMA, saying time has come to celebrate â€œmusicians who nourish the soul of the nation.â€
Music Association of Malawi (MAM) chairperson, the Reverend Chimwemwe Mhango, thanked the organisers for resuscitating the awards.
He agreed with singer Allan Chirwa that the awards will create an atmosphere of encouragement, fulfilment and fellowship among artists.
â€œIf you look at the patronage at gospel shows and people defecting to gospel, you know gospel is ruling. Let the best achievers win. Donâ€™t allow the devil to mess up. Jesus is not a liar,â€ he said.
Joyful Soulsâ€™ album finally in Lilongwe
After an abrupt cancellation of the Abweranso album launch, gospel Acapella group Joyful Souls takes the LP to Lilongwe at the Shaffer Conference Hall on Sunday, October 21.
The first launch took place at the Robins Park in Malawiâ€™s commercial city, Blantyre, where a capacity crowd witnessed the comeback of the Acapella group, after a four-year silence.
A week later, it was the turn of Lilongwe to sample the third album for Joyful Souls after Tidzauluka in 2005 and Adzaweruza in 2008.
However, it was cancelled due to reasons beyond the groupâ€™s control.
â€œWe failed to launch the album on the 9th of September as planned because we were told some three days to the day of the show by the owners of the venue that there was an emergency meeting they wanted to hold at the very same venue, day and time for our show.
â€œThough it was painful considering that we and our fans were fully prepared for the show, we accepted the painful reality that Godâ€™s time is the best. We make plans, but God always has the final say on them.
â€œTherefore, to us, it meant that 9th September was not the right date for us to launch the album,â€ said the groupâ€™s spokesperson Lloyd Kaisi Phiri.
He said the launch will also be an opportunity for fans in Lilongwe to appreciate how matured the group is in the way it is singing and presenting songs.
Joyful Souls will be supported by artists like Sweet Fellowship, Card Messages, Joseph Chadeleleka, Friends and Chifundo Chikonga.
Abweranso has 11 tracks that include an intro and an interlude.