The high flying Nigerian Gospel artistes, Lara George, Mike Aremu, Frank Edwards, Wole Oni, Sammie Okposo and Rooftop MCS were deservedly honoured for their pacesetting roles for African Gospel music scene worldwide, as they were crowned with the prestigious African Gospel Music Awards (AGMA) UK recently in London.
The award winning Nigerian gospel acts were led by popular ‘Ijoba Orun’ exponent, Lara George. She won the coveted Best African Female Gospel Artiste Award, despite a very tough competition from outstanding African female gospel music icons, who made up the challenging nominees. George defeated African gospel music ‘goliaths’ such as Emmy Kosgei of Kenya, (who won the award last year), Ghanaian Gift Osei, UK – based icon, Diana Hamilton, celebrated Ntokozo Mbambo of South Africa to mention but a few.
President, African Gospel Music Writers and Critics Network, Isaac Daniel, who monitored the award, said that it was a miracle that Lara George won in that ‘zone of death’ category. “this is because when the nominees were announced she was not among the favorites. In fact she was an underdog as everybody expected the likes of red – hot Emmy Kosegei or Diana Hamilton, or Gift Osei and Ntokozo Mbambo to clinch the award ahead of the Nigerian multiple award winning songstress.
Apart from Lara George, other celebrate Nigerian Gospel artistes that made the country proud at the event included, Midas touch producer, Wole Oni. He recorded an unprecedented feat for Nigeria as the only double award winner in Africa. The Ondo State born prolific music producer bagged two distinct awards in the “Best Music Producer” and “Best Contribution to the promotion of African Gospel Music” categories.
Rooftop MCS won the “Afro Gospel RAP (Solo/Group) of the year., Frank Edward, winner “Best West African Artiste”, Mike Aremu, winner “Best Afro Jazz/instrumental Musician while Sammie Okoposo and Muyiwa Olarewaju were honoured with the AGMA Trailblazer Award.
Speaking on the award, Lara George expressed surprise that she was chosen for the award among other African Gospel Music giants. But she attributed her success to the wonderful works of God. “This award makes me very, very elated. Honestly, I am very happy that I won the award. I wasn’t even expecting it. The award was very keenly contested; I really thank God that I won this prestigious award.
“Like my newly released album titled “Higher”, I see myself moving higher and higher with my music. I will continue to make quality music and videos to remain on top. I will also move from conquering the African scene to other parts of the world. In fact, like every progressive artiste, I have my eyes on winning the Grammy Awards very soon.”