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REWARDING. Gospel music awards are known to be scooped by renowned gospel artistes. The Catholic church came up with another version for those that are not prominent Roland D. Nasasira writes
When you talk of gospel music awards, what probably rings a bell in someone’s mind is that that they are only won by known gospel artistes such as Judith Babirye, Betty Nakibuuka, Wilson Bugembe and Julie Mutesasira.
Last week, Catholics under the Catholic Gospel Music Committee held an event at the Youth Sharing Centre in Nsambya in which 25 catholic gospel artistes showcased their singing abilities.
According to Richard Ssendege Mubiru, one of the organisers, the awards that were organised for the first time, were meant to spearhead identifying young talented singers of Catholic music, first in the archdiocese of Kampala and then the awards will be carried out at a national level in future.
Though the event was not well-attended, it didn’t stop the gospel awards from taking place though it started an hour later than had been planned. There was a category of those that competed below 18 years and those above. The former category had two participants and the latter had 23 participants.
Unlike other awards where the public sometimes votes for their favourite artiste on social media and other platforms, these were different. Singer after singer came on stage to perform live as the three-man panel of judges awarded marks basing on creativity, performance and the message carried in the songs.
At the end of the event, Prince Jjuuko and Sarah Byaruhanga emerged winners in the category of those above 18 and were awarded with plaques. Esther Nakawunde emerged winner in the category of those below 18 years.
Why the awards?
“When you look at gospel music in Uganda, the type sung by Catholics is not being popularised. The Catholic Church music has a unique preaching.
The essence of these awards is to promote the Catholic way of preaching through music so as to bridge the gap between the believers and religion,” says Richard Ssendege Mubiru, one of the organisers. The music will also promote the rising artistes who appear as if they don’t exist and that the awards will be organised annually.
Ssendege says in a country such as Uganda where immoral and secular music with no inspiring and motivating message to the youths has dominated listenership, Catholic music intends to redirect and guide the youths to find and seek their solace in God.