MULTI-LINGUAL praise and worship singer Everton Mlalazi is on cloud nine as his efforts and exploits on the music scene continue to attract continental attention.
Mlalazi, a member of the Seventh Day Adventist Church, is definitely living his dream. In January he told NewsDay Life & Style that he was optimistic that the year 2023 would bring better fortunes after an eventful 2022, which he said had been “a season of learning and growth”.
In the latest development, Mlalazi is basking in the glory of a double nomination alongside some of the continent’s gospel heavy weights at the forthcoming Nigerian awards, the Clima Africa Awards 2023.
Mlalazi has been nominated for the Africa Gospel Artiste of the Year and Africa Best Male Gospel Artiste of the Year categories at the awards set for October 2 at Lagos Television (LTV), Agidinmbi, Ikeja Lagos in Nigeria.
The category also features Piesie Esther from Ghana, Winnie Mashaba (South Africa) and Janet Otieno (Kenya).
Mlalazi is happy that his music has been accepted locally and beyond the borders.
“This was unexpected, but fully appreciated. I am in awe of and grateful to God for the recognition. It encourages us at EM (Everton Mlalazi) brand to keep working,” the elated Mlalazi said yesterday.
“On the other end I am very much humbled that I can be recognised in Nigeria for African awards, both Best Gospel and Best Male Gospel Artiste. To our fans we want to say thank you for supporting us, your support encourages us to remain working.”
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The soft-spoken Mlalazi will battle for honours with Mercy Chinwo, Mr M & Revelations and Moses Bliss, all from Nigeria, in the Africa Gospel Artiste of the Year category.
For the Africa Best Male Gospel Artiste of the Year category, he faces stiff competition from Joe Mettle from China, Dunsin Oyekan, Nathaniel Bassey, Moses Bliss, Testimony Jaga and Peterson Okopi all from Nigeria.
The awards voting platform for nomination categories will begin from August 20 to September 20 on www.climaafrica.com, the official website of the awards organisers.
Through his music, Mlalazi — who frontlines the Worship Therapy band (the resident band and vocalists for the EM brand) — has created a vibrant gospel sound that is inspired by his love for music and childhood musical influence.
Mlalazi says music is a ministry he uses to evangelise and touch the lives of many, just like how pastors and ministers evangelise through the Bible.
He has shared the stage and exchanged notes with some top global performers while also taking his music across the borders.
On the collaboration side, Mlalazi has proved to have a soft spot for South Africa’s top music stars if his growing number of collaborations with artistes across the Limpopo River is anything to go by.
He has collaborated with Ladysmith Black Mambazo, a Grammy award-winning South African male choral group on the duet Nomakunje (that has a live recorded video), worked with singer and music producer Benjamin Dube on Mwari Hamushanduki (Lord You Do Not Change), another South African Grammy award-winning Soweto gospel choir and former Joyous Celebration member Xolly Mncwango on the single My Father’s House (In God’s House).
To date, Mlalazi has staged performances in Lusaka, Zambia at the two-day FNB WOW Festival and last year (in December), he made his maiden performance in Lagos, Nigeria at the Sinach Christmas Concert and next month he will be performing at the AfriPraise tour scheduled for August 5 at Gaumont State Theatre in the United Kingdom.
Mlalazi said his music was available on iTunes, Apple Music, Spotify, Deezer and YouTube.