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Gospel stars out in force

CELEBRATED: Grace Belafonte with Akosua Agyapong

ACCOMPLISHED AND aspiring African and diasporan gospel artistes were present at the African Gospel Music and Media awards (AGMMA) held at the East London Arts and Music in Bromley by Bow, east London.

The event featured a red carpet VIP reception and the main awards ceremony hosted by Premier Gospel Radio’s drivetime host, Lady T.

The night opened in typical African fashion with energetic praise and worship led by Benjamin Kusi and Michael Pounds.

The various awards, representing 26 categories, were interspersed with inspired performances a range of artists: Afriy David, Ccippo, Grace Balafonte Shekinah Sings, Uniekgrace, CalledOut Music, Isabella, Diana Hamilton and Judith Sephuma.

One of the night’s highlights was a live performance from Sammie Okposo and Joe Mettle. Both men were, by coincidence, joint winners of the Song Of Excellence category, with Okposo winning with A Marvellous Thing and Joe Mettle with Bo Noo Ni.

WINNERS: From left, O’Neill Dennis, Juliet Fletcher, Dave Paul and John Fisher

Top winners of the night were Joe Mettle who won in the Male Artiste Of Excellence category and Song Of Excellence categories, and Sammie Okposo who won in the Song of Excellence category and in the special Trailblazer category.

Other winners included Emmanuel Smith, Diana Hamilton, Pompi, Muyiwa Olarewaju and Dr Tumi, Mercy Masika, Cassi Kalala Jesse Morgan and Nikki Laoye who won a Community Award for her charitable services in Nigeria.

For the first time, AGMMA awarded the Heritage awards to six members of the UK gospel scene, namely John Fisher, O’Neill Dennis, Roy Francis, Juliet Fletcher, Dave P and Noel Robinson who have contributed to the development and promotion of music within the African-Caribbean community and helped bridge the gap between the African and Caribbean communities.

Charles Koranteng, one of the those behind the AGMMA says that next year’s event will be bigger and better.


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