By Ronald Mugabe
It was all agony and ecstasy as the winners of the 2014 edition of the VIGA Gospel Music Awards were announced at a fully packed Theatre La’ Bonita, Saturday evening.
The awards, organized by the Victoria Gospel Academy were geared towards recognizing the selfless efforts of Ugandan gospel music artistes to champion the spread of the gospel through their talents, singing and dancing.
As early as 6:00pm, the elegantly dressed guests started setting foot on the red carpet that had been set just outside the entrance of the theatre.
The show kicked off just a few minutes to 7:00 with the MC of the evening, Spirit FM show host, King Wesley welcoming the guests to the night that would soon be characterized by feelings of ecstasy, anxiety and powerful musical and dance performances.
In the middle of the performances, just before the awards were given away, Prince Nick Nyombi, the lead organizer and Chief Executive Officer of the Victoria Gospel Academy addressed the audience and briefed them about the technicalities that were involved in the thorough selection of the award winners for the various categories.
Shortly after, the moments of truth began to kick off with Moses Ssozi surprisingly scooping the Songwriter of the year award.
More awards were subsequently given away to their outright winners.
Just before announcing the winners of the top categories, Jackie Senyonjo, elegantly dressed in a black sparkling dress thrilled the fans with Julie Mutesasira taking the floor later, performing her inspirational ballad, Saba.
It is this song that went on to win the Song of the year prize.
The most awaited moments of the entire event soon reached as the best male as well as the best female artistes of the year were announced.
The crowd erupted in deafening sounds of excitement as Joy Tendo was announced winner of the best female artiste category.
She beat renowned gospel artistes Judith Babirye and Julie Mutesasira to the accolade.
Clad in a long blue velvet dress and golden high heels, she could not hide her heartfelt pleasure as she gave her acceptance speech, thanking her fans and management for enabling her achieve this success.
More jubilation was in the house as Exodus was announced winner of the best male artiste category.
The Igwe singer called upon fellow gospel musicians to continue pushing on to ensure Ugandan gospel music gained more recognition.
He closed the four hour long event with a powerful performance of his songs including Prophecy which won for best video of the year.
Below is the full list of the categories and their respective winners;
Best Male Artiste of the year – Exodus
Best Female artiste of the year – Joy Tendo
Song of the year – Saba by Julie Mutesasira
Album of the year – Okirizidwa by Judith Babirye
Video of the year – Prophecy by Exodus
Best Instructor – Wasanyi Serukenya
Social Media Artiste/ Group – Canaan James
Diaspora Artiste – Ronnie Mukisa
Best performer – Pastor Betty Badda
Best Live band – Emiziki Band
Best inspirational song – Ensi Ekoma by Joseph Segawa
Best worship and praise – Pastor Robert Kayanja
Best Collaboration – Cooper and Nava
Best long serving/legendary award – Pastor Simeon Kayiwa
Special entry – Kyalimpa by Mesach Semakula
Best exemplary theme – McAfrica Kirwana
Best upcoming artiste – Wilson Kigundu
Best afro-pop artiste – Gladys Mirembe
Best Afri-style/Zouk/ Soukos artiste – Pastor Betty Badda
Best traditional song – Agungumale by Olivia Muwumba
Best Kadongo kamu song – Yegwe Munange by Joseph Ngoma
Best RnB/Jazz/Soul artiste – Levixone
Best dancehall/ Ragga artiste – Robin Son
Best hip-hop/ rap artiste/group – S4J
Best reggae artiste/group – Rev. Edmond and Rachael
Best Pentecostal choir – Holy Gate Kigenge
Best Adventist choir – Amayengo Glorious Choir
Best Anglican choir – Gospel Elite
Best Catholic choir – Devine Love
Best dance group – Storm Riders
Best instrumentalist – Mushanga
Best Promotion icon – Wimax
Best audio producer – Paddy Man
Best Video producer – Aiden
Best songwriter – Moses Ssozi
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Joy Tendo and Exodus scoop top accolades VIGA Gospel Awards