Senior Arts Reporter
Prolific gospel musician Minister Micheal Mahendere has been nominated for two awards at the Global Music Awards Africa in Ghana.
Mahendere has been nominated in the Global Gospel Artist of the Year and Song of the Year categories.
For the Global Gospel Artist of the Year category, he will compete against Levixone (Uganda), Prospa Ochimana (Nigeria), Diana Hamilton (Ghana), Joe Praize (Nigeria), Mercy Masika (Kenya) and Empress Gifty (Ghana).
In the Song of the Year category, Mahendere's song "Revival", will be up against Levixone's "Celebrate", Diana Hamilton's "Wasem", Mercy Masika's "Yesu Anaweza", Propsa Ochimana's "Worth to be Praised", Joe Praize's "Goa Alone" and Empress Gifty's "Jesus Over Do".
The "Salt of Earth" hit-maker who earlier this month scooped the International Best Male Gospel Artiste Award 2020 at the Africa Unite Gospel Awards which was held virtually in the United States said he owed his success to the grace of God for a great start to 2021.
In an interview, Mahendere said he was chuffed by the double nomination as he felt honoured by such recognition, adding that it was a great start to a fresh year.
"Getting such a nomination from a far country like Ghana, West Africa, is a great blessing," he said. "I visited the nation once for the Tehillah 2019 worship concert, and this has changed my view of what I am doing.
"It's not every time you are able to see how much God would have stretched your influence musically, unless you find yourself nominated on such platforms with some of Africa's gospel giants. This nomination is a new definition of who God's grace has made me to become."
Mahendere said he did not submit any works for the nomination, but was selected by the awards nomination committee.
"We never submitted, but we received a message through our management contact line that they have chosen us as one of the nominees," he said. "I guess this is what makes me see the goodness of the Lord.
"I also believe we will continue to do music with a global view in mind."
Mahendere bemoaned the effect of Covid-19 on musicians and families in general, after he lost his father.
"This lockdown has come with a different feel all together for me by separating me with my father, a man who has made me to be who I am, he gave me a name and trained me to be the man I am," he said. "I have always honoured and I continue to honour him for everything he has given to me.
"May His Soul Rest Peace and also it's been a bit tough for most artists who could do some lockdown online shows before and now it's a bit restricted due to the limitations of not being able to be more than three people for any shoot or production.
"We all know and believe it's for a good cause of our safety, but to some artistes who rely only on shows it's a bit of a stress."
Mahendere said he was using the lockdown to stay at home and interact with Direct Worship followers and fans online.
"I have launched an online programme of communicating with aspiring musicians, songwriters, worship team's members and praise and worship leaders," he said. "I am sharing tips and nuggets on how to be effective in the music and worship area, which I have been operating in for over 26 years, active in music. It is called the Worship Digest and I will be only speaking and not singing."
Mahendere said his fans should expect new songs anytime soon.
"The good thing is, indeed we are releasing new songs which we managed to record some time ago," he said. "We will start by releasing a single song called Shalom which I worked with some very special friends from South Africa and we are also bringing the Volume 4 of "Getting Personal With God" accompanied by new videos."
Mahendere shaped his music career when he was a member of the famous Mahendere Brothers, made up of brothers Akim, Amos, Misheck and himself.
He started singing and playing for the family band when he was in primary school, rising through the music ladder until he formed his own group some years back.