African gospel talent nominated for Groove Awards in Kenya

Kenya's Groove Awards, which honour the past year's leading gospel talent across Africa, this week unveiled nominees in 26 different categories for the 11th edition of the annual awards, due to take place on Wednesday 1 June in Nairobi.

Artists at the 2016 Groove Awards nominations party. Photo: Groove Awards/Facebook
Artists at the 2016 Groove Awards nominations party. Photo: Groove Awards/Facebook

Scoring the highest number of nominations is Daddy Owen, who leads with six (Male Artist of the Year, Collabo of the Year, Song of the Year, Album of the Year, Afro-Pop Song of the Year and Video of the Year).

JFam and Recapp came second with four nominations each. Following closely were Evelyn Wanjiru and Eunice Njeri each with nominations in three categories. Both songstresses will face off for the Female Artist of the Year and Worship Song of the Year awards.

New contenders for the Artist/Group of the Year category include Bonz Mzalendo, Cliché, Mash Mwana and Kenya’s newest all-female gospel trio P31, who have also been nominated for Hip-Hop Song of the Year. Eric Smith and Laura Karwirwa are also in the running for Artist/Group of the Year, with each receiving nods in other categories too.

While focusing on Kenyan talent, gospel artists from Nigeria, Ghana, Zambia, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda and DR Congo have also been recognised with nominations in the various regional categories.

"The announcement of the nominees follows a rigorous process of reviewing and evaluating entries, and we are excited to be unveiling the list of contenders for the 11th edition of the Groove Awards with Safaricom,” said Groove panel chairman Charles Kairu. “We are truly honoured to be in a position to recognize and celebrate today’s talented artistes and their contribution to the growth of the gospel music industry."

The theme of this year’s awards show is 'Come as you are', which focuses on the message love, grace and forgiveness, and encourages unity in the face of divisions that threaten to divide the nation.

"Through this platform, we have been able to not only reach out to the youth with positive messages that harness the power of music, but to promote the gospel music industry in Kenya, the East African region and further afield,” said Sylvia Mulinge from Safaricom, adding: "We are proud to be supporting these awards, because we have seen how wholesome music is transforming the lives of Kenyans everywhere by giving inspiration and hope, and uniting us against various divisions."

In the lead-up to the main ceremony on 1 June, Kenyan nominatees will traverse the country to meet their fans and drum up support for their bids to win in their nominated categories. These regional Groove tours will kick off on Sunday 1 May.

Below is the full list of nominees:

Male Artist of the Year

  • Daddy Owen
  • Eko Dydda
  • Guardian Angel
  • JFAM
  • Ljay Maasai
  • Pitson

Female Artist of the Year

  • Eunice Njeri
  • Evelyne Wanjiru
  • Gloria Muliro
  • Janet Otieno
  • Mercy Masika
  • Size 8

Group of the Year

  • 24 Elders
  • Christ Cycoz
  • Kelele Takatifu
  • Recap
  • S.O.C (Saintz of Christ)
  • TPK Sons

New Artist or Group of the Year

  • Bonz Mzalendo
  • Cliché
  • Eric Smith
  • Laura Karwirwa
  • Mash Mwana
  • P31

Song of the Year

  • Daddy Owen - 'Vanity'
  • Gloria Muliro - 'Ndio Yako'
  • Kelele Takatifu - 'Ngori'
  • Mercy Masika - 'Nikupendeze'
  • Piston - 'Niache Niimbe'
  • Size 8 - 'Afadhali Yesu'

Worship Song of the Year

  • Abedy Ngosso - 'Kimbilio'
  • Eric Smith - 'Wewe ni Zaidi'
  • Eunice Njeri - 'Uka'
  • Evelyne Wanjiru - 'Nikufahamu'
  • Frank - 'Jina La Yesu'
  • Lady Bee - 'Hakuna Kama Wewe'

Reggae or Ragga Song of the Year

  • Dafari - 'Control'
  • Guardian Angel - 'Give Thanks'
  • JFAM & Omari - 'Wave'
  • JFAM - 'Mention Jesus'
  • Mr Googz and Christo Fabulous - 'Calling'
  • TPK Sons - 'Ngong Ngong'

Hip-Hop Song of the Year

  • Eko Dydda - Nina One
  • Maluda ft. Juliani - Easy
  • MC LC - Serre
  • P31 - 'It's Time'
  • Recapp - '5 Stones'
  • Shem - 'Dead & Gone'

Album of the Year

  • Bethu & HPB - Outcry
  • Daddy Owen - Vanity
  • Dafari - Preacher Bwoy
  • Eunice Njeri - Uka
  • Kelele Takatifu - Ndoto za kupaa
  • Mercy D. Lai - Emmanuel

Afro-Pop Song of the Year

  • Christ Cycoz - 'Some More'
  • Daddy Owen - 'Vanity'
  • Guardian Angel - 'Rejea'
  • Kelele Takatifu - 'Ngori'
  • Majic Mike and Kris Erroh - 'Ayaya'
  • SOC ft. Levixone - 'Mukutu'

Collabo of the Year

  • 24 Elders & Daddy Owen - 'Okokroko'
  • Everlyne Wanjiru & Vicky Kitonga - 'Tulia'
  • JFAM and Omari - 'Wave'
  • Majic Mike & Kris Erroh – 'Ayaya'
  • Mr Seed and Pitson - 'Happy Day'
  • Recapp - '5 Stones'

Video of the Year

  • Daddy Owen - 'Vanity'
  • Eko Dydda - 'Haina Budi'
  • Janet Otieno - 'Roho Wako'
  • Laura Karwira - 'Natamani Nikuone'
  • Recapp - '5 Stones'
  • Size 8 - 'Afadhali Yesu'

Gospel Radio Show of the Year

  • Gospel Night Live - Ghetto Radio
  • Gospel Sunday - Milele FM
  • Gospel Switch - Truth FM
  • Pambazuka - Radio Citizen
  • Shangilia - Hope FM
  • Tambira - QFM

Radio Presenter of the Year

  • Amani Aila - Hope FM
  • DJ Ruff - Ghetto Radio
  • Eva Mwalili - Milele FM
  • Joyce Gituro - Radio Citizen
  • Lawrence Thuku - Hope FM
  • Selly Amutabi Kadot - QFM

DJ of the Year

  • DJ GG
  • DJ Krowbar
  • DJ Mo
  • DJ Ruff
  • DJ Sadic
  • DJ Tabz

Talent to Watch

  • DJ Covenant
  • DJ Katta
  • DJ Mzito
  • Hype Ballo
  • Hype Guda
  • MC Timeless Noel

Gospel TV Show of the Year

  • Angaza - KBC
  • Crossover 101 - NTV
  • Kubamba - Citizen TV
  • Rauka - Citizen TV
  • The Switch - K24
  • Tukuza - KTN

Song of the Year: Rift Counties

  • Carlos Kaptich - 'Mututan'
  • Edna Lotole - 'Ebeneza'
  • L Jay Maasai - 'Sigogo'
  • Lilian Rotich - 'Chamyet'
  • Moses Sirgoi - 'Assets'
  • Pst. Samuel Somorei - 'She Mpapa'

Song of the Year: Coastal Counties

  • Evelyne Ndege - 'Sauti Za Furaha'
  • Faith Mwikali - 'Ushindi'
  • Mercy D Lai - 'Dhoruba'
  • Michael Yena - 'Pamoja'
  • Pst. Anthony Musembe - 'Jehova yu Mwema'
  • Yvonne Aphia - 'Yule Yule'

Song of the Year: Eastern Counties

  • Eunice Kyalo - 'Kuthina Yingi Ninaleo'
  • James Mwongela - 'Mbua Nene'
  • Justus Myello - 'Kathiiwa Tata'
  • Michael Mutuku - 'Ivinda Ya Kukilwa'
  • Pst Dan Mutemi - 'Simu Mundu'
  • Stephen Kasolo - 'Ngai Niwukilasya'

Song of the Year: Western Counties

  • Jackie Wanyama - 'Nyola Luyali'
  • Karol Tunduli - 'Ulila'
  • Naomi Nyongesa - 'Khwacha'
  • Papa Kisembe & Melody - 'Namusima'
  • Sarah N - 'Ambah Ambah'
  • Timothy Kitui - 'Njingula'

Song of the Year: Central Counties

  • Charles Wachira - 'Matata Ma Maithori'
  • Austin Muturi - 'Irathiro Ria Riua'
  • Njuguna Gichecha - 'Ngai Ageka Kiundu'
  • Phylis Mbuthia - 'Githe Tiwe'
  • Sammy Irungu - 'Kirathimo'
  • Shiru Wa GP - 'Ihinda Ria Kinya'

Song of the Year: Nyanza Counties

  • Fenny Kerubo - 'Abasani B’ Omusunte'
  • Lydia Scarlet Nyairabu - 'Omosae Omonda'
  • Eunice Ogoma - 'Nyasaye Marahuma'
  • EV. Douglas Otiso - 'Yeso Tara'
  • Evaline Muthoka - 'Yesu Iber'
  • Maureen Awuor - 'Jerusalem Oiki'

Artist of the Year: Western Africa

  • Frank Edwards - Nigeria
  • Nathaniel Bassey- Nigeria
  • Onos Brisbi - Nigeria
  • Sinach - Nigeria
  • The Preachers - Ghana
  • Tim Godfrey - Nigeria

Artist of the Year: Southern Africa

  • Abel Chungu - Zambia
  • Benjamin Dube - South Africa
  • Joyous Celebration - South Africa
  • MAG44 - Zambia
  • Pompi - Zambia
  • Tembalami - Zimbabwe

Artist of the Year: East & Central African

  • Alarm Ministries - Rwanda
  • Christina Shusho - Tanzania
  • Coopy Bly - Uganda
  • John Lisu - Tanzania
  • Rebecca Soki - DR.Congo
  • Wilson Bugembe - Uganda

Public voting is open and will run until 31 May. Fans can vote by dialing *811# and following the prompts, or via the Groove Awards website.

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