Glitzy night with top EC musicians

Stars thrilled that awards bring public recognition

The Guild Theatre in East London was filled with glitz and glamour on Saturday as 12 Eastern Cape musicians were honoured for their talent and hard work.
The third annual Eastern Cape Music Awards saw 12 Eastern Cape artists receive recognition for their craft in front of fans, organisers and promoters.
The father of the event, Koko Godlo, said the awards gave both promoters and aspiring artists a platform to break into the industry.
Winners were:
● Artist of the year: Amawele ka Mamtshawe;
● Best newcomer: Gqubemswaneni;
● Song of the year: Uleven by 100% Ncobela;
● Best male artist: Baphushe Ndithule;
● Best female artist: Nomdakazana Dlamini;
● Best traditional artist: Mavie M;
● Best Hip Hop artist: Crazy Mandie;
● Best gospel group: Assemblies of Christ Church in Zion;
● Best Afro pop: Anele Mbokoma;
● Best community radio DJ: Thembelani Jikijwa (Ngqushwa FM); and
● Best community radio programme: Inkuthazo by Thando Kobese on Mdantsane fm.
Godlo said the event was proving more popular each year, encouraging him to start planning for another.
Best female artist Nomdakazana Dlamini couldn’t contain her excitement.
“I am truly grateful for this award. It shows that hard work and trusting in God really do pay off. It gives me hope. I’m so grateful to the organisers and supporters,” she said.
Best newcomer Gqubemswaneni was emotional. “I am humbled by this award, I believe that it is the beginning of greater things to come. I am motivated to push and worker harder than I did before.”
The event – whose R1m funding left the BCM sponsoring committee bitterly divided – was attended by mayor Xola Pakati, a number of councillors and metro officials, as well as the artistic community in full force.
Although the ceremony, scheduled for 7pm, started nearly two hours late, it did not dampen the mood.
Mdantsane’s DJ Jigga took the mic to entertain the crowd with his sense of humour.
“These are not the Sama awards, or Metros. These are our own Ecmas – don’t expect perfection but as it grows it will get bigger – and maybe our salaries too,” he quipped.
Mdantsane FM presenter Anita Rula enthralled the crowd with her voice and delivery.
She was later joined by Umhlobo Wenene FM’s Amaza Ntshinga.
Best gospel group ACCZ stole the night with their traditional gospel sounds, with the audience unable to stay in their seats during their three-song performance.
Best hip hop artist Crazy Mandie, 24, said: “I feel so good about this award. It makes me realise that people appreciate my work. I appreciate the love and care people show me. Big thanks to the community of NU11, my family, and my team LDE Lions Destiny Entertainment.”
Gospel couple Butho Vuthela and wife Yolanda introduced a new sound with a mix of gospel and gqom.
Some, however, were unimpressed. Fan Thabisa Maweni said: “They are such good artists but they should stay in their lane. I did not like that mix.
“Maybe they are trying to keep up with times but they must stick to what they do best and leave gqom to its own artists.”
First-timer was East London resident Rashida Mentor, who said the province was on par with bigger regions when it came to talent.
“It was an amazing event. I never knew the Eastern Cape had so much talent. The performances that got my attention most was the gospel genre.”
Winisile Mafanya added: With better planning and organising the event could really promote local artists.
“Our artists must not have to move to Gauteng in order to make it and be recognised. ”
But some took to social networks to air their disappointment.
Anele Potwana of Dutywa wrote: “Eastern Cape Music Awards Are so disappointing yhaaz … #R190 Mxiiiim!!!”
He also threw shade at Anita’s choices while hosting the event, ending: “Aaargggrr Shame!!! #ReplaceSheMC.”..

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