'Gospel veteran stole our ideas for awards'

ACCUSED: Zanele Mbokazi. © Unknown.
ACCUSED: Zanele Mbokazi. © Unknown.

Edward Tsumele

Edward Tsumele

Television personality and former Gospel Gold presenter Zanele Mbokazi is embroiled in a bruising row over the soul of gospel music.

Gospel musician Tshidi Mokoena, a former Joyous Celebrations singer and ex-backing artist for Lundi Tyamara, accuses Mbokazi of having stolen her idea for a national gospel music awards ceremony. Mbokazi, however, has dismissed the claim.

"We launched the first gospel music awards, the Soul Matters National Gospel Awards on July 25 this year, to which we invited Mbokazi and Gospel Gold. We sent them all the information about the awards. Mbokazi and the Gospel Gold team did not turn up at the event held in Melville.

"We were surprised to learn that Mbokazi - in partnership with Ukhozi FM - is now putting together plans to launch these same awards and call them something else.

"Her awards are a carbon copy of the Soul Matters Gospel Awards. The only difference is that she changed the name and called them Crown Gospel Music Awards. She has stolen our idea," an enraged Mokoena alleged.

Mokoena added that she was going to drag Mbokazi to court.

"We are, however, going ahead with the Soul Matters Gospel Music Awards. We will go ahead with the awards in February next year. We are currently negotiating with sponsors," said Mokoena who came to Sowetan with the statuettes that will be given to the winners.

Mbokazi admitted yesterday that she will launch a new gospel music awards ceremony in March next year. She said she had worked on the idea for the past two years.

"I do not even know who this person is. There is no such thing as stealing an idea. Where have you ever heard of a person stealing an idea? We are going to launch the Crown Gospel Music Awards in March next year. They will be preceded by an international gospel convention in November," she said.