Twelve years after Femi Akintunde-Johnson stepped aside from the production of music awards, the aspect of the showbiz has captured his fancy again. But this time, he is focused on awards for gospel artistes, with the intention to celebrate musicians in the sub-genre.
According to the publisher popularly called FAJ, the urge to return to the centre became irresistible after he had watched the scenes and realised the time had come to intervene again.
He said, “In recent years, gospel music in Nigeria has witnessed a phenomenal surge in popularity, participation and investment. Our gospellers continue to command admirable followership amongst millions of adherents and ordinary music lovers across the globe.
“Of course, we are all witnesses to the magnetic appeal of great awards in advanced societies and their remarkable impact and exposure in lives and businesses of their practitioners.
“In Nigeria, in spite of her huge population and massive army of gospel musicians, there is little or no pronounced reward system on ground to uplift and propel our artistes to greater heights. Thus the need to introduce a respectable, reliable and inspiring annual award has become very critical.”
He adds that he and his team – including top players in the entertainment industries such as Azuh Arinze, Amakwa Igwe, Yemi Sodimu, Dele Dele-Olukoju and gospel singer, Timi Osikoya – are persuaded that the time is here for Nigerian people to witness the first authentic gospel music award.
The maiden award, titled Music and Entertainment Gospel Awards, (aka Mega Awards, he further says, will recognise and celebrate outstanding performances and exemplary talents in the Nigerian gospel music community, involving Nigerians both within the country and outside. It is produced by Footprints Ventures, an event management outfit, and fully endorsed by Evang. Timi Orokoya Telemi-led Gospel Musicians’s Association of Nigeria.
FAJ, who had been involved in the creation and coordination of awards that include FMA, THEMA, AMEN and Reel Awards, notes that it is this wealth and those of others that is being invested in the project
With the maiden edition expected to come up in November, some of the categories of the awards are Artist Of The Year, CD of the Year, Video of the Year, Song of the Year, Choir of the Year, Male/Female Vocalist of the Year, Contemporary Gospel of the Year, Movie of the Year and Reporter/Presenter of the Year.