Held on the 31st of July, the inaugural Heaven Inspired Triumph (HIT) Awards finally made a mark in the Uganda Music, Entertainment and Ministry. At the end of the awards show, the hosts announced an already set date for the edition. It is slated for the 29th of July, 2016. Our response, “Thank God. One less problem to worry about.” If you read our article introducing the HIT Awards and what it means for Uganda Gospel music, you must have noticed that we are weary of Awards that crop up and disappear after the very first edition or are held in an unplanned manner that leaves critics worried about their credibility. So yes, we were excited about this announcement.
The other reason we were excited about this announcement is the fact that, at least this time, the award ceremony won’t take us by surprise. The first edition of HIT Awards took us and many industry players by surprise. People were asking how the nominees were arrived at and what criteria would be used to determine the winners. During media, mostly radio and a bit of TV appearances, the organizers labored to explain the later but not the former. We hope the next one will have a clearer path of reaching at the nominee as much as possible.
So, is there hope for Ugandan Christian music through HIT Awards?
To say that recognizing and celebrating those who have excelled in their categories will not propel the industry to greater heights, is a lie. What however we noticed with HIT Awards inaugural edition is, it recognizes musicians in only two categories of Artiste of the year and Rising Star categories. The rest of the categories celebrate personalities and ministers who are thriving in the seven spheres of influence. Of course, we are more than sure the organizing team will put this into consideration the next time. Also, we hope people like DJs will be recognized. Whether this will be incorporated or not, we cannot confirm. However, one needs to know that the award intends to celebrate those who are excelling in the 7 spheres of influence. It is not a, Christian music-only kind of award.
When it came to the award ceremony itself, the organizers quite frankly outdid themselves save for a few technical glitches with the sound here and there. It also felt like, either there was not enough time or the organizers did not find it necessary to intentionally give us a feel of the artistes who had been nominated except a few. It was however good that the event had a few new faces in a bid to expose new talent as opposed to the same old faces on almost every event we attend.
Since time memorial, there has never been an award ceremony where everyone leaves satisfied with the results. We think it unfair to nominees however for the public to imply that they did not deserve to win in their categories, after all, every nominee can win. However, we can not help but think of what one of the industry players said in relation to a certain winner. It was, according to them, funny that they the did not know the award winner and their songs. This brings us to the question of, is the award for Urban and contemporary Gospel Music or it includes what many of us call local too? Secondly, if it includes the ‘local’ artistes too, why did it feel like most of those nominated are urban Gospel artistes. Thirdly, in terms of airplay and popularity, is it not good for winning artistes to be those whose music has broken through the barriers of age, radio stations and genre? Well those are our thoughts.
All in all, we are more than convinced that the following years will be much better. We wish to pass our congratulatory messages to all the winners in their categories. We also think, the real winners are the event organizers.
And yes, there is hope for Ugandan Gospel music through HIT Awards. What do you think? Leave a comment.