The Nigeria International Gospel Music Awards (NIGMA) has announced the date and venue for the 5th edition of the prestigious event of recognition of gospel musicians in the country. Organised by the Academy of Gospel Music Awards, the ceremony is billed for the Shell Hall of MUSON Centre, Onikan, Lagos, on November 19, 2023, according to a statement by Head of Strategy for the awards, Peter Armand Boyo.
Already, the gospel music scene is awash with excitement at the return of the reward system that suffered a few years’ hiatus. One of the important highlights of the gospel music awards is the special category dedicated to immortalising the pioneering and revolutionary spirit of late gospel music star, Sammie Okposo, who passed onto glory in 2022. It’s called Sammie Okposo Awards for the Revelation of the Year.
Okposo raised gospel music bar in Nigeria with his first album ‘Wellu-Wellu’ and later recorded some of the pioneering songs that became the rave and challenged his colleagues to go beyond hymnals to music that transcended borders, which remained uniquely Nigerian in flavour but with international outlook. He took that brand new gospel music to a global audience where he had collaborations with other global players and paved the way for others to follow. His death last year shook the gospel music industry to its roots. But he left behind a solid body of works that will keep defining gospel music.
The award categories unveiled include Best Indigenous Song, Best Vocal Performance (Male), Best Vocal Performance (Female), Best Gospel Hop/Rap, Best Reggae, Best Rock, Best Jazz, Music Video of the Year, Best Group or Duo, Best New Artiste, Best Music Producer, Artist of the Year, Choir of the Year, Best Collaboration Song/Album, Sammie Okposo Awards for the Revelation of the Year, Worship Song of the Year, Song of the Year, and Diaspora Artiste of the Year (Male and Female).
Other special categories of Nigeria International Gospel Music Awards are Special Recognition Awards in Media, Personality, Special Talent, Concerts/Events, Lifetime Achievement and Posthumous.
The Nigeria International Gospel Music Awards holds is the foremost reward event in the gospel music industry in Nigeria, according to Boyo, who emphasised, “This promises to be an exceptionally distinguished and unforgettable occasion, commemorating the profound influence of gospel music and paying homage to the remarkable contributions of artistes to the genre.”
The Head of Strategy for NIGMA also stated that under its dynamic new identity, the NIGMA reaffirms its commitment to celebrating the worldwide impact of Nigerian gospel music. According to Boyo, “NIGMA’s goal is to acknowledge the outstanding accomplishments of Nigerian gospel artistes, who have garnered acclaim and touched lives far beyond the nation’s borders,” adding that the revamped awards ceremony will uphold its tradition of honouring exceptional achievements in the gospel music sector. Boyo also stressed that the awards will showcase exceptional talents across various categories, recognizing artistes, songwriters, producers, and other contributors who have played pivotal roles in the genre’s expansion and influence.
Promoted as an event that will serve as a platform for fostering connections, inspiring collaborations, and celebrating Nigeria’s incredible musical legacy, organisers say that they have extended an open invitation to all stakeholders, including gospel music artistes, industry experts, sponsors, and music enthusiasts to embrace the new, thrilling phase of gospel music in the country.
The Nigeria International Gospel Music Awards (NIGMA) stands as the preeminent awards ceremony that commemorates and honours remarkable achievements within the Nigerian gospel music sphere. With a dedication to acknowledging the global reach of Nigerian gospel music, NIGMA provides a stage to showcase the extraordinary talents of artistes, songwriters, producers, and other creatives in the genre. Through its rebranding efforts, NIGMA aspires to unite the world through the transformative power of gospel music, spotlighting Nigeria’s contributions to the global gospel music landscape.