THE Mosi Awards saga continues to take different twists, with the current one being the failure by organisers to put their house in order.
Numerous award-winning gospel minister Ephraim and a list of other renowned secular singers have continued to snub the awards nominations with CHAPRO’s Aaron Sikasunda still maintaining that the awards should not include gospel performers.
Meanwhile, other Christian music recording singers, including Suwilanji have other views about the awards, which are being sponsored by Zambian Breweries in partnership with the National Arts Council.
Latest revelations in the local media have indicated that Ephraim has declined the nominations in which he has been pitted against Pompi and Kings in the Best Gospel Album and Best Male Artiste categories.
Despite urging his fans on his Facebook page not to vote for him in the categories three months ago, the Lesa Takelesha singer has reiterated his earlier stance not to be part of the awards ceremony.
“I am a Christian and I should not jump on everything that comes. Personally, I try to be very careful. I am coming to gospel music as a ministry. I do not drink and I do not support beer drinking. I am just standing on integrity,” said the CHAPRO award-winning star.
Ephraim further announced that should he win any of the categories in which he has been nominated, he would advise the organisers to donate the cash prize to an orphanage of their choice.
In a related development, Suwilanji said she is humbled to be nominated for the awards and owes it to her fans, who she is keeping faith in.
Asked further how she felt to be nominated for the breweries-sponsored awards, Suwilanji, who has just released her second album titled Mulilonshi, the sequel to Mwanjitile Akale, said: “If my fans feel my music is good enough to be nominated for the awards, I think it’s a good thing and it means they appreciate my music and my God-given potential and great talent that I possess.”
She added: “I, personally, appreciate and consider this to be a great honour considering the fact that I did not nominate myself.”
Suwilanji has been nominated together with Rachael and Roberta in the Best Female Gospel Artiste category again raising further questions on the omission of the likes of Karen, Kristin Nkole, Theresa Kabwita, Mweshi Mulusa, Eva Lubono or indeed Joy, who have been excelling in the Christian music industry over the years.
Late last year, Kings confirmed he would be glad to receive the new awards attributing this to the fact that even the Bible ‘supports’ the gesture.
“I would receive the Mosi Award because according to the Bible in Joshua 2, which partly reads: “God gives wisdom, knowledge and happiness to those who please Him, but He makes sinners work, earn and save so that what they get can be given to those who please Him…”
Supporting Kings Malembe Malembe was Meyer, who said she saw nothing wrong in receiving the Mosi Award saying: “I would receive the award as long as I am not drugged into performing at the event.”
Filankonka singer, Sife and BM Sampa both agreed with Meyer’s sentiments with the former stating that: “Hey! I drink Fanta and Coke all the time and yes I would receive it…” the views which were also shared by Eva Lubono.
And having worked for the beer firm for close to 10 years, Bola Panshi singer Sampa said receiving the Mosi Award would be “for a good cause, just as receiving an Oscar or Grammy Award!”
Other artistes who have also been nominated for the award set for this month include Pompi, who is also in the Best Male category along with Kings and Ephraim as well as Lazarous Zulu, Nathan Nyirenda and Blessings Mubi Malenga, who have been shortlisted for the Best Keyboard award.
But in an interview, Sikasunda counselled the artistes not to compromise their faith by accepting the Mosi Award because, as gospel artistes, they should go by their faith and not to be lured into accepting anything that is being offered on the market.
But after the secular artistes also raised their own concerns recently, Zambian Breweries said as a corporate sponsor, it takes cognisance of the concerns raised and advises that these have been discussed in detail with the National Arts Council and the Zambia Adjudicators Panel, who in turn will respond to the specific concerns.