This past weekend, the SABC Crown Gospel Music Awards celebrated 10 years of the gospel award ceremony through a ‘Crown Gospel #Blestival’ held at Carnival City, Johannesburg. The event brought together top gospel musicians, preachers, comedians and Christian poets from across South Africa.
Hosted by Zanele Mbokazi, who is also the founder of the awards, the event highlighted the success of the awards through performances of the winners and nominees of the previous years.
What started as a dream, is what we’re witnessing here today. I want to say that a God-given dream is also for you, for one person, and never for everyone. It will be misunderstood by many people, many will criticize it- but what I had was a dream that could not be silenced, it could not be hidden. It was a dream for God,” said Mbokazi, seemingly overwhelmed by the success of the evening.
The event also saw the launch of the long-awaited, hour long gospel musical, Maria- an initiative aimed at taking gospel music to theatre.
According to an official press release, the aim of this new initiative is to “take gospel music to theater and open new doors and new audiences for our musicians”. Headlined by popular TV actress, Jessica Nkosi, and Lion King & Muvhango actor & singer, Brian Themba- the musical follows the story of Mary and the role she played in Jesus’ life.
Award-winning artists such as Dr Rebecca Malope, Benjamin Dube, Dumi Mkokstad, amongst others were also present during the event.
“I just want to say to Zanele, you’ve outdone yourself- we all look up to you. I remember the first time she told us that there would be crown gospel awards, 10 years ago. May she continue to do good things, we are proud of her. She is such a powerful woman, may she continue leading from the forefront and showing us how it’s done,” Dr Rebecca Malope said, congratulating the organisers.