Hard work and dedication earned community radio gospel presenter, Onke Jalamba, and his budding gospel counterpart Anele Buka, Ingoma Gospel Awards.
The Khayelitsha duo were presented with the awards during a ceremony held in Johannesburg, on Saturday August 26.
Mr Buka walked away with the Best Street Marketing award for his 13-track album titled Abanethemba Elinjalo, while Mr Jalamba clinched the Best Gospel Community Radio Presenter award. Both categories were decided by public votes.
The 25-year-old Mr Buka, who has released five albums to date, said the awards confirmed that their music touched people’s lives. He described gospel music as a universal language.
Mr Buka said the award was encouragement that the many sacrifices he had to make to ensure that his gospel singing career was being realised, were paying off. He said he started singing in the early 2000s as a backing vocalists for a local artist.
Mr Buka, who is also a qualified chef, said he released his first album in 2004 but it did not do well as people did not really know him. This, he said, left him feeling demoralised and he had wanted to give up on his singing career.
He said his parents also suggested that he should stop his career and focus on his education. But because he believed that this was his calling, he opted to continue with singing and prayed for his breakthrough.
He said he feels blessed that he won the award and it brings joy to his heart knowing that people appreciate his music.
Mr Buka highlighted marketing and distribution as some of the main challenges for budding artists – and added that they also had to travel to Johannesburg to record their music
“Faith never disappoints. All the challenges that I have faced never deterred me but they have built me to be a strong individual.
“Patience and perseverance have finally paid off and I hope this is the beginning of great things to come,” he said.
Mr Jalamba said winning the award meant his work was finally being recognised.
The 27-year-old teacher said gospel music brings hope and revives faith. He said being on the radio afforded him an opportunity to release his first album, Akalilibali Indinga.
“Gospel music is a universal language. We want people to be motivated through our music,” he said.
* The duo will host an event, at Usasazo High School, on Saturday September 23 to celebrate their awards.The tickets cost R30 for pupils and R50 for adults. Contact 074 645 5394 for details.