Groove Awards Rwanda has announced a number of nominations of gospel musicians a month after it was launched.
Speaking to the media after the launch, Fiona Phanny the Groove Awards representative from Nairobi said that Groove Awards in partnership with Skiza seek to promote, and celebrate gospel talent across Africa.
She added that since its inception in 2004, over 600 artistes/groups have been nominated and over 100 Groove statuettes presented to musicians in the region.
The Groove Awards was started through the efforts of young Christians and Holy Spirit-driven youth from Nairobi, Kenya, under Kevin Muley who had a dream to bring people together to celebrate gospel music, and a festival of gospel talent.
Rwanda joined the Groove Awards in 2010, with The Sisters group emerging winners. In 2011, the award went to the Blessed Sisters and in 2012 it was won by Eddie Mico.
This year, Alphonse Bahati won the coveted Artiste of the Year (Rwanda), and the award was presented to him by Gaby Irene Kamanzi, who represented Rwanda.
Categories competed for include; Male Artist of the year, Female Artist of the year, Choir of the year, New Artist of the year, Song of the year, Worship Song of the year, Hip Hop Song of the year, Audio Producer of the year, Dance Group of the year, Gospel Radio Show of the year, Radio Presenter of the year, Video of the year, and the Christian Website of the year.
Among all nominees; Patient Bizimana, Simon Kabera, Gaby Kamanzi, and Serge topped the list with three nominations each.
However while unveiling the contestants, it was discovered that Catholic artistes were not represented. Media and showbiz experts were surprised to see celebrated artistes and professionals like Kizito Mihigo, a gospel musician missing on the list.
The organisers of this event want the voting process, nominations, and winners to be recognised in their respective countries in the region.
Rwanda was the first place to launch the Groove Awards after Kenya. Preparations to launch the event in the rest of East Africa are underway. The event is planned to be held annually.
Moriah Entertainment Group, the leading Rwandan Gospel Music and Event promoter, is the only partner that will be running Groove Awards operations in Rwanda. The grand event to announce winners is set for October 13.