Different Entertainment Awards in Uganda always have a slot that recognises and awards gospel acts in the entertainment industry. Among these are mainly gospel artiste of the year male and female and, gospel song of the year. The Victoria Gospel Awards (VIGA) is different because it not only recognises purely gospel awards, but also has different winners being awarded in 30 categories.
The 5th edition of the VIGA Awards took place last Saturday at Imperial Royale Hotel’s Primrose Hall. When this year’s edition was launched sometime last year, the organisers said the awards will not have the big gospel artistes participating but rather they will only give out awards to the younger and upcoming artistes.
This meant that people like Judith Babirye, Pastor Wilson Bugembe, Levixone and Dangelo Busulwa would not receive an award. The organisers kept their word – to an extent. None of these were nominated in the 30 categories. According to the main organiser Nicholas Nyombi, he said that they wanted to give a chance to the young gospel artistes to feel recognised because the big artistes have been taking the awards throughout the years.
However some big names still featured, like singer Coopy Bly who has been in the industry for some time now. Coopy Bly won every category in which he was nominated; he took home three awards which included Male Artiste of the year, Dancehall/Ragga Artiste of the Year and Song of the Year. This left many people discontented as they were overheard complaining. Rapper Ruyonga is not a young artiste as he was also referred to at the VIGA Awards; he won in the Hip Hop/Rap category.
What the audiences also didn’t realise was that there were few physical awards to be given out. Although the categories were 30, there were about 10 awards labeled VIGA and only one award was plain. When the artistes would be announced as winners, the organisers would follow them to get the award back and give it to the another winning artiste. This meant that only about 10 artistes went back home with physical awards.
Traditional Music Category – Joy Tendo (Eyalama)
T.V. Personality of the Year – David Oguti
Radio Personality of the Year – Kamagu
Videographer of the Year – J Blessing
Audio Producer of the Year – Paddy Man
Acapella Category – Canaan Gents
Diaspora Song/Artist Category – Hellen Nuwagaba (Webale)
Junior Category – Stephen Assimwe (Never Let Me Go Father)
Afri-Style Category – Willsongs (Wasala Magezi Ki)
Kadongo Kamu Category – Kaggwa Edward (Obufumbo)
Best Live Band/Group – Collective Band
Best Worship/Praise Song – Isaac Serukenya (Enlarge My Territory)
Choir Category – Amazing Grace Choir
Inspirational Song – Baby Gloria and Levixone (Save a Life)
Song Writer of the Year – Brian Lubega
Techno-House-Rock Category – Watoto Children Choir (Be Exalted)
Reggae Category – Baby Gloria (God Win)
DJ of The Year – DJ Steff
Upcoming Male Artist – John Marie (Nsiima)
Hip-Hop/Rap Category – Ruyonga
Afro-Beat Category – John Marie (Nsiima)
Dancehall/Ragga Category – Coopy Bly (Batusinzaki)
Best Collaboration – Zabuli and D Reign (Ooh Lala)
Video of the Year – Canaan Gents (Sing)
RnB-Jazz-Soul Category – Ryione Mawuwa (Yanungamya)
Album of the Year – Justine Nabossa (Oli Katonda)
Female Artist of the Year – Zabuli
Male Artist of the Year – Coopy Bly
Upcoming Female Artist – Sandra Suubi (Nsiimye)
Song of the Year – Coopy Bly (Akikwasaganya)