MINISTERSPOKES, an upcoming gospel singer from Semonkong, in Maseru has brought glory home after scooping the hotly contested Artist of the Year Award in the South Africa’s (SA) Free State Gospel Music Awards, (FREESGOSMA 2021).
Nov. 2, 2021
4 min read
Ministerspokes scoops gospel award in Free State
Lesotho gospel artiste, Poloko Mohlapiso aka Ministerspokes collecting his award on Saturday
- Singer competed against top names in the gospel genre from Lesotho
- Ceremony was held to encourage hard work and high standards among gospel artistes from FS
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The awards ceremony was held on Saturday in Bloemfontein, under the auspices of Dups Tee Foundation – a company founded in 2020 and led by ’Molotsi Medupi.
Ministerspokes real names, Poloko Mohlapiso from Ha Tsoinyana was competing with established names from Lesotho but against all odds, he won in his category.
The other 10 local artistes who battled against him included Katleho Moshe, Rorisang Motsamai, Majara Majara, Pastor M. Busa, ’Marefiloe Bale, Tšepo Kherenchane, Mosito Sentšo, Khahliso Mphephuka, Lerato Mothobi and Tšitso Chalatsi.
At the classy event held at the Ilanga Estate, Lesotho artistes also teamed up on stage and sang in tribute of the late jazz and gospel guru, Tšepo Tshola.
Renowned musician and former member of Sankomota, Tshola, who was born and bred in in Lesotho, died in July from COVID-19 related complications aged 67.
After receiving the award, a triumphant Ministerspokes said he felt honoured to be the one of the winners, adding that the award means he is now well-recognised.
“I feel so overwhelmed. The victory will offer me great exposure to ensure that my music gets known. I am happy for my compatriots from Lesotho who were also nominated. Together we are going to hold a big show to thank our supporters for their votes as well as thank God for the award we brought home. It is a win for all of us, the 10 artistes who represented Lesotho in the competition,” he also said.
About his music journey, Ministerspokes says he was raised in a Christian family and started singing in church at a tender age.
“When I arrived in the city (Maseru), I found my way into a then prominent gospel group called Yadah Praise Family and this is where my proficiency was honed and where I also gained a lot of experience. Sharing the stage with accomplished artistes such as the late Sefiso Ncwane, Joyous Celebration members and Lebo Sekhobela really gave me the much needed exposure,” he says.
In 2018, he recorded his debut album titled “The Genesis” which has 18 tracks.
“I am in no hurry to release follow up albums as I’m presently marketing this album because it takes time to penetrate the market,” he explains.
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For those who would like to follow his footsteps, the soft-spoken musician notes that some of the essential traits required in the business are a clear vision, a well-balanced mind, good support and connections in order to get airplay on various radio stations for ones’ music.
“Unlike other gospel artistes who mix their music with other genres like Afro-Jazz, I stick to gospel because to me it is more than a gift but a calling. In future I would like to work with the likes of Benjamin Dube from SA,” he says with great confidence.
The founder and organiser of FREESGOSMA, Medupi, says their goal is to encourage hard work and high standards among gospel artistes from the Free State – to also promote and expose their talent.
“We are united for a common goal of celebrating the gospel creativities,” he also says.
Some of the categories in the competition included - Best Producer, Best Gospel Radio Show, Best Female Artist, Best Gospel Group, Best New Comer, Best Single of the Year, Best Album of the Year, Best Clap and Tap of the Year and many more.
South African artistes nominated included Sello Malete, Teboho Moloi and Musa Sithole.
One of the province’s top gospel artistes, Tebogo Nkone won the Gospel Song of the Year award with his popular song “Jeso Mopholusi wa ka”.