By Owen Mafukele
According to the information at our disposal, Phindi Nzimba a gospel artist, who was declared the winner of the best gospel artist of the year at the recently held Xitsonga Gospel music awards never received his winners price and the victory celebrations were short-lived.
The first annual Xitsonga music awards (XIGMA) held at the prestigious Xilumani Hotel in Giyani Section A were seen as the best thing to ever happens to Xitsonga gospel music.
“I received a phone call where I was called to avail myself for a meeting in Giyani following the awards ceremony. This came after I have waited for the best gospel artist of the year award payment to be processed through into my account but the money was never forth coming…
I told Ginani Mabunda over our telephone conversation that I am currently in Bushbuckridge and I don’t have money for transport to come for a meeting in Giyani”, said Phindi.
“Ginani Mabunda insisted that I come for a seat down meeting on Saturday, of which I couldn’t attend since I wasn’t paid what was due to me”.
“On the preceding date and this was on Monday, I then tried to speak to Howard Mashaba, but I was told the man is outside of the country.
Giyani View spoke to Ginani Mabunda the founder of Xitsonga Gospel music awards who said both the artists were called upon to come for a meeting, and only Mme Mohlala who was the ultimate winner of the best Xitsonga gospel music award was present, and the message was duly communicated to her.
Apparently, according to Gina Mabunda, the award of the best XiTsonga gospel music award was erroneously awarded to Phindi Nzimba, taking into account the amendments that had to be made and the final decision was to be delivered at the meeting which Phindi saw it fit not to attend and be part of.
Phindi Nzimba was one of the nominees for Xigma 2019 in the category Best Artist of the year, who was erroneously awarded this award.
“Xigma board of directors appointed independent people to judge the awards and the judges consisted of pastors and Gospel artists who were not participating and same applies to people who were responsible for counting votes.
“Therefore, i want to put it on record that afer realising that there were some miscalculations the board immediately made a decision to call the top two artists in this category namely Mme Mohlala and Phindi Nzimba.
I remember we called them on the very same sunday after the awards for a meeting the following surtaday and they both confirmed their attendance.
Unfortunately we couldn’t hold the meeting on 12th October 2019 due to unavailability of other board members and the meeting was postponed to 19 October 2019 in Polokwane.
On Thursday the 17th October we reminded both contestants about the meeting for Saturday, Mme Mohlala confirmed and Phindi declined to attend our meeting and indicated that he heard rumours that the meeting was about sharing the award which he was not ready to do”.
We continue with the meeting and it was agreed that the award must be given to a person with high number of votes and in this instance it was Mme Mohlala.
The reason for calling both artists was to show them the polling results so that everyone can count for himself and tell us who has the highest votes. We are very transparent organisation and very ethical people therefore we couldn’t turn our blind eyes and deprive the will of the people, hence the amendment.
Giyani View posed a question, wanting to find out as to who exactly is Mme Mohlala?
Mme Mohlala was one of the nominees in this category and after conducting our own internal investigations it was found that she is the one with highest number of votes and the award must be given to her.
Giyani View also probed a little further with Ginani Mabunda whether if there were any means in progress to retrieve the trophy back from Phindi Nzimba?
No. Remember this is Gospel Awards and we believe in peace and harmony. Therefore as Ubuntu we will leave him with the trophy and we have place an order for new trophy for Mme Mohlala. That’s why we called him for a meeting, cause we wanted to resolve this matter peaceful and amicably. Our sign was to correct the mistake and tomorrow it might be him. We stand for the truth no matter how painful it might be and irrespective of the expected backlash from the critics.
Phindi says he only learnt through a whatsapp group chats that was created for the specific event (XIGMA) that a new winner has been identified and announced.
“Mme Mohlala’s name was paraded on the group as the new winner of the best gospel artist of the year award”, quipped Phindi Nzimba
However, when taking into consideration the tallied votes and the numbers each contestant received, audited by the independent panel of judges, including pastors and gospel artists appointed by XIGMA board of directors, which then depicts the four contestants that was made of Ps Ruddolf, Jeffrey M, Phindi Nzimba who in the process has amassed 2433, and Mme Mohlala standing tall with 2553 votes, respectively.
“Here are the results from August to October and the artists were called upon for their availability when the recounting process took place to verify the veracity of the numbers that were arrived at”, concluded Ginani Mabunda founder of Xitsonga gospel music awards.
Phindi Nzimba was erroneously presented with the trophy on the night of the of ceremony.