By Owen Mafukele
The first annual Xitsonga gospel music awards held under the auspices of Xilumani Holdings that took place last Saturday night, 5th of October, at Xilumani hotel in Giyani Section-A has been a success.
The event was blessed with the attendance of well-known musicians, and the proverbial who’s who in the zoo of the entertainment industry, including Sipho Makhabane of big fish record company, Greater Giyani Municipality (GGM) incumbent Mayor, Cllr Basani Shivambu, and the flamboyant Papa Penny Ahee amongst many others.
The annual Xitsonga gospel music awards was a social cohesion and nation building event against gender based violence, although with the aim of giving recognition to the hard working Xitsonga Gospel artists who have toiled their craft while at least spreading the gospel through their music.
And, the following acts walked away as winners with varying accolades that were on offer on the night, ranging from the best hit single category which went to Dzunisani Khosa… best newcomer went to Tsakani Khani and best male was Charles Nyambi.
However, Muhluri Baloyi was not to walk away empty handed as she took the best female accolade, whereas the best amazon/traditional warmly landed at the safe hands of Israel Mhlongo and the best collaboration saw the legendary MC Mabasa and Mhani Alina graciously scoops the award for their project.
Believe you me, the night was still young until such time when the best Gospel album recipient got the recognition they deserved… with the award going to Bongi Matlhabane and the best Gospel artist accolade went to Phindi Nzimba, respectively.
Divine Gold annexed the best song of the year, and Pastor Rudolf Mabasa of “ndzi tlakusela mahlo fame” walked home with the best praise and worship accolade.
Furthermore, there were two special awards categories; living Xitsonga legends Gospel award which was awarded to Reverent Joseph Chawane and Pastor James Shimange.
The other special awards category was given to the family of the late Weer Ngobeni for “chela mafurha” hit and his contribution to Xitsonga gospel music at large.
There were also live performances from different musicians who kept the audience right at the edge of their seats throughout the night, which included acts such as Jabu Hlongwane, Worship House, Go Explo, Sipho Ngwenya, Themba Nyathi and many more.