After living in the shadows of showbiz recognition for decades, Gospel musicians and producers seem to have found their ‘own’.
From the period of the defunct Entertainment Critics and Reviewers Association of Ghana (ECRAG) Awards and, now, Vodafone Ghana Music Awards, they appeared to have played second fiddle to artistes of other music genres.
Three years ago, however, the Ghana National Gospel Music Awards (NGMA) was launched to celebrate personalities whose ingenuity and artistry has and continues to keep the spiritual flag of Ghanaians high.
Two editions of the ceremony in Kumasi are already history. ‘Time, they say, ‘flies’. It seems the maiden event happened only yesterday but suddenly, the third event is beckoning.
Significantly, this erases any doubts about sustainability of the awards scheme, especially, in view of how much work goes into organizing such ceremonies.
Organizers are already expanding the frontiers of honour to include secular musicians, as made public at a media interaction last week (November 7, 2019) in Kumasi.
Chief Executive of Global Expert Recovery, Peter Kwabena Dwobeng, indicated a new category, ‘Hybrid Gospel Song of the Year’ has been introduced to reward musicians who are known for all other genres but have works in the gospel vein.
He also revealed collaborations between gospel and secular artists will be considered for the category.
Other newly- created categories include Hybrid, Urban Gospel Song of the Year and Gospel Artiste of the Year (Diaspora)
Unlike the first two editions, the 3rd edition of the Ghana National Gospel Music Awards (NGMA) would see the voting academy wield 60% voting power whereas the general public has a 40% voting power.
The voting academy would be supervised by the Gospel wing of the Musicians Union of Ghana with representation across the various regions of the country.
Again, 15 out of the 20 categories would be awarded on the main night of the awards with the remaining 5 (industry category awards) being presented prior to the main night.
Unlike the 15 categories which would be open to public voting, the industry categories would be voted on solely by professionals in the music industry (academy).
Nomination forms for the 2019 Ghana National Gospel Music Awards would be out from November 11, 2019 via its official website www.ngmagh.com and submissions of entries closed on November 26, 2019.
Nominees list is expected to be released by December 10, 2019, with main event taking place on February 1, 2020.
Present at the launch were gospel musicians, Brother Sammy, Minister Fire and a host of media personalities.
The 2019 Ghana National Gospel Music Awards is supported by Franko Phones with media sponsorship from the Multimedia Group Limited.