The fourth edition of the Music and Entertainment Gospel Awards, MEGA, took place last Sunday (November 20) at the Main Hall of NECA House, Alausa, Ikeja-Lagos.
Pomp, panache and elegance were put on display at this year’s ceremony, headlined by soar-away gospel artiste, Lara George.
The event was heralded by red carpet photo-ops, interviews and freestyle skits by up-and-coming artistes in the "MixZone". Performers included: Liyia (rapper), Bukie Xcel, Fido Cleft (highlife), Prof. HolyRock & MC Watermelon (comedians); Misiano & Da'Son (hosts).
A performance by Wonderboy, introduced by the duo of Broda Martyns and Jumoke Odetola, the main ceremony’s comperes, opened what would be a night of fun, celebration and emotional outpourings.
Incidentally, the male co-host earlier announced, Cute Sagay, sa gospel artiste, suddenly disappeared on the day of the event, to the chagrin of the organisers. This slight setback prolonged the kickoff of the event slated for 5pm.
That over, veteran actors and couple, Norbert and Gloria Young, presented the first set of awards, led by the “Amaka Igwe Music Video” category.
Video director, Sunny Peters snatched the award for his work, Eledumare by Oluwashalom, alongside three other nominees - Olayinka Davies, Pita's I'm Your Soldier; Obio – Obiwon's Floodgate and Lex-Ten with Prosper's Ochimana, The Great I Am.
Following, Praise Machine, who defied his large frame and danced dexterously, performed to a great audience applause.
The second set of award presentation was done by the duo of talented actor and broadcaster, Yemi Sodimu and 2015 MEGA Artiste of the year, Mobolaji Olayinka (aka Psalmos).
Sodimu lauded the event organisers and expended a mild humour that threw the audience into a bout of laughter.
“This gathering is unique; it is the first where I see a pastor and a masquerade mingling”, said Sodimu, referencing Pastor Tunde Bakare and top Afro-high life singer, Lagbaja.
Soon, attention was riveted to the big, colourful LED screen hung over the stage where nominees and their works were played back.
The “Cover Art Design of the Year” was won by Designplus with Aity Dennis' God Of Wonders. Segun Obe’s “Holy Ghost Party” won him the Best Praise & Worship Medley; Mike Abdul’s Korede clinched the award for Best Singles Urban, while Praise and Worship Singles – went to Bright Edeh’s “Divine Surprise”.
Alaafin’s singer, “Nightingale” nicked the Contemporary Traditional Song of The Year in a tear-jerking emotional outpouring of gratitude and celebration!
In addition, Aijay, with her song, titled “Igwe” took home double awards: Worship Song of the Year and Best Single Traditional.
Big winners that night were Diekololami (4), Port-Harcourt-based D'Kachi (4) and ace producer. Nathan Flo Akiremi (3).
The Producer of The Year Award was won by Nathan Akinwunmi Akiremi; and with “Mo Dupe - Ft. Judirocka” he bagged the Praise Song of The Year;.The third for him was Dr. Larry Izamoje Award For Vocalist Of The Year.
The splendid night continued with presentations of Collaboration of The Year award to Dkachi's Its Your Time; the Dr. Tunde Bakare Award For Praise and Worship Album of The Year was won by Dkachi's “Living Streams”; and also, the Adeyinka Bakare Award for Best New Artiste - he was nominated alongside Wordsmith, Oluwashalom and Yinque Afrique.
Just about settling down, another nomination put Dkachi on his toes, and it was nomination and win for his album, “Living Stream” in the Alma Rhom Album of the Year category. Others in that category were Florocka's Impressions; Segun Samuel's The Fruit Of My Lips and Dieko's “Can't Get Enough”.
Singer Dieko’s “I Look To You” won the Inspirational Song of The Year; the MEGA Song of The Year Award with “E Se”; and the icing on the cake was Dieko’s "Can’t Get Enough" carting away the Artiste of The Year Award over great nominees like Florocka, Mr. Kee and Segun Obe,
For the first time, MEGA picked a Life Achievement Award recipient, and in colourful yet inspirational presentation by Steve Ayorinde (Lagos Commissioner for Information & Strategy,) and Larry Izamoje (Chairman, Brila Group)...to the iconic musician. Instrumentalist. producer and creative avatar, Laolu “Akins” Akintobi!
Highlights of the night was the presentation segment anchored by former vice presidential candidate and servant overseer of Latter Rain Assembly, Pastor Tunde Bakare and his adorable wife, Layide Bakare. The performances of Telemi, Monique, Esther Igbekele and of course, Lara George were equally enthralling.
Other presenters included: Taiwo Oladoye, Aimee, Lagbaja, Ladun Ogunbanwo representative of First Lady of Lagos State.
Some of the nominees who graced the occasion were: Praise Machine, Prince Da Psalmist, Ola Onabajo, Segun Samuel, Oluwashalom. YinQue Afrique, Ewoma E-wonda (Kaduna), Oluyinka Davids, Alex Lexten, Fechi (Kaduna) Faith Ajiboye, Ebubedike, etc.