By Irene Gaitirira
Published May 24, 2016
Voting for nominees of the 11th annual Groove Awards for Gospel music nominees shall end on May 31, 2016 and winners announced at a Gala Awards ceremony the following day.
Fans are invited to vote by either dialing *811# and following the prompts or via the grooveawards.co.ke website.
Charles Kairu, Chair of Groove Awards Panel, speaking at Nairobi’s Kenya National Theatre on April 27, 2016, said the announcement of the nominees “follows a rigorous process of reviewing and evaluating entries; we are excited to be unveiling the list of contenders for the 11th edition of the Groove Awards with Safaricom. We are truly honoured to be in a position to recognise and celebrate todayâ€™s talented artistes and their contribution to the growth of the gospel music industry.â€
On her part, Sylvia Mulinge, Safaricom’s Director in charge of Consumer Business Unit, noted, â€œThrough this platform, we have been able to not only reach out to the youth with positive messages that harness the power of music, but to promote the gospel music industry in Kenya, the East African region and further afield. We are proud to be supporting these awards, because we have seen how wholesome music is transforming the lives of Kenyans everywhere by giving inspiration and hope, and uniting us against various divisions.â€
Groove Award nominees were announced on April 27, 2016 and Regional Groove tours to publicise and drum up support for the event kicked off four days later. The tour brings nominated artists traversing Kenya to meet their fans, perform and seek their support for their bids to win in their nominated categories.
The theme for Groove Awards with Safaricom 2016 is ‘Come as you are’ that, the sponsor says,”focuses on the message of Godâ€™s love, grace and forgiveness and encourages unity in the face of divisions that threaten to divide the nation.”
So who are the nominees?
Founded in 2004, Groove Awards with Safaricom, its organisers say, “seeks to promote gospel music as a message of hope and an avenue to address issues affecting young people across the African continent with a key focus on its main objective â€“ Shaping culture through positive content and entertainment.”
Groove Awards organisers say the Safaricom-sponsored and Mo Sound Events-produced scheme has seen more than 2000 artists nominated and 400 statuettes presented to musicians in Kenya and East Africa region over the past decade.
Sponsor Safaricom, that provides voice, data, TV, financial services and enterprise solutions, pioneered commercial mobile money transfer globally through M-PESA, one of the most successful such service anywhere in the world. M-Pesa was launched in March 2007 as a money transfer service. Currently, it is said to have more than 22 million customers and more than 90000 Agent outlets within Kenya.