The 4th annual Gospel Icon Discovery Competition takes place at the Ohlange Sports Ground in Inanda, near Durban, between 8.30 am and 3.30 pm on Sunday, November 13.
This eThekwini Parks, Recreation and Culture Unit gospel music talent search programme is aimed at cultivating upcoming artists in the city, and helps them launch their musical careers.
The project is designed to produce future gospel icons while alleviating poverty and developing people’s musical skills.
Following extensive auditions, those artists who have made it past the preliminary rounds are given the opportunity to showcase their skills at the main event, where the winners are announced.
There are three categories:
- the ‘Odwinkidwinki’ category caters for children under 12 years;
- the second category including soloists and duets from 13 years and older; and
- the third category, for groups of all ages.
In each category, the winner is awarded a cash prize of R15 000 and a full recording contract. The second and third prize winners in each category get R10 000 and R5 000 respectively, as well as a chance for a demo.
The talent scouting programme is the brainchild of the Hhead of Parks, Recreation and Culture Unit, Thembinkosi Ngcobo, and this year’s judges are Thina Zungu, DJ Happy Gal, Gah Ndlela, Malusi Mbokazi and Thokozani Ndlovu.
The 2016 Gospel Icon Discovery competition forms part of the Essence Festival: Durban, which culminates with a big-stage concert at Moses Mabhida Stadium on the evening of November 13. The winners will get to share the stage with Ne-Yo, Wiz Kid, Black Coffee, Yolanda Adams, Mary Mary and Joyous Celebration.
Last year’s Gospel Icon Discovery Competition winners were GTI Gospel Group from Umlazi, Mphathiseni Dube from Newtown A, and Siphesihle Hadebe from Cato Manor. They are presently recording their albums.
Admission to the Gospel Icon Discovery Competition in Inanda is free.