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Artists shun gospel awards

It first started with nominees Ndirande Anglican Voices then Khama Khwiliro who announced that they had pulled out of the Gospel Music Awards (GMA) scheduled for Robins Park in Blantyre on December 28.

The organizers led by its chairman Kondwani Magela last week down-played the withdrawal of the two saying the show will go ahead.

But the organisers have been dealt a big blow following the pulling out of the event outright gospel musicians including some of the nominees who reached this consensus at a meeting in Blantyre on Friday.

An interim committee was elected during the meeting where they agreed not to participate in the awards citing several irregularities and short period of time.

The interim committees’ spokesperson Thocco Katimba confirmed the development but said they would provide more information later.

President of the Gospel Music Association interim committee Bishop Burtone also confirmed, saying all the artists have pulled out following irregulaties in the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).

Efforts to talk to Magela proved futile yesterday but a source said they were contemplating to meet the finalists again who have since turned down the offer.

Magela last week insisted they followed the right procedures to come up with nominees. The event is also set to clash with the Musicians Association of Malawi (Mam) gala happening on the same night at Mount Soche Hotel.

Gospel artists in Lilongwe and Mzuzu also expressed concern with GMA, saying many were not consulted.

Katimba described the GMA as a good concept aimed at rewarding artists but he said the organisers rushed and did not give the event enough time.

“We are not against the awards, this is a good initiative and we welcome it because as artists we need to be rewarded for the sweat. But, the organizers did it in a hurry and again, many are questioning their capacity so it’s better, they shift it and plan well,” said Katimba.

Some of the musicians who were nominated for the awards labelled by the Lilongwe and Mzuzu artists as a competition for Blantyre only include Katimba, Ethel Kamwendo Banda, Grace Chinga, Limbani Simenti, Great Angels Choir, Allan Chirwa and Patience Namadingo.

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