JZ shares his love for gospel at the awards

PRESIDENT Jacob Zuma on Sunday night shared his love for gospel music at the second SABC Crown Gospel Music Awards.

The awards, which were held at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli Convention Centre in Durban, attracted huge numbers in support of local gospel music.

During his speech at the awards Zuma said music brings people together, and that gospel in particular frees the mind and soul.

"Like anyone else I enjoy music as a way of relaxation, and I play my favourite CDs from time to time," he said.

There were 15 categories at the awards, and the overall winner was Solly Mahlangu for Best Song of the Year.

Mahlangu pipped the likes of Sfiso Ncwane, Keke and Benjamin Dube.

KwaZulu-Natal artists were also high up there with the best.

The province's winners included Hlengiwe Mhlaba for Best Female Artist, Abanqobi for Best Acapella, Sipho Makhabane for Best Traditional, Nadile kaMajola for Best Song Writer, Nomusa Dlomo for Best Contemporary and Sfiso Ncwane for Best Classic of all times.

Benjamin Dube was given a Lifetime Achievement Award.

Dube said: "Music is everything to us, one sings when one's happy and also when one's sad, I want to be remembered as a worshipper of God ..."

KwaZulu-Natal Premier Zweli Mkhize said his office was pleased to be co-sponsors of the event.

"It is indeed a privilege for the region to be given the opportunity to once again host these awards."