TWO Eastern Cape gospel artists have made it to the final rounds of the SABC Crown Gospel Music Awards 2012.
Veliswa Skeyi and Sivuyile Batala will jet off to the Durban ICC on November 18 for the fifth annual gospel awards.
An excited Skeyi said: "Being nominated ... [shows] people are appreciating the work that we do. I am over the moon because I have been nominated in three categories, Best Gospel Female, Best Traditional Gospel and Best Gospel Artist. For the first time I have also been nominated in the category where the public are the ones who vote to decide on the winner."
Sivuyile Batala, who has been nominated in the Best Rap category, said he was also over the moon.
"This nomination means a lot for the Eastern Cape. I've got 15 years in the music industry and I spent a lot of those years as an executive producer working alongside Sizwe Zako.
" I only decided to do my own album in 2008 and so far I have released four albums. This is my first nomination because unlike on the other albums that were mainly on nature of worship and up tempo, on this album I have focused mainly on up tempo."
New categories in this year's awards are: Best Community Outreach, Best Gospel Poetry and Best Collaboration.
Crown Awards president Zanele Lambokazi-Nkambule said: "With 142 entries this year, this must have been a tough competition for our judges... I would like to urge all those nominated in the categories voted for by the public to start campaigning as this is a numbers competition."
The Eastern Cape also has three nominees in the Best Gospel Radio category – Tru FM's Mandla Makhubalo, and Umhlobo Wenene FM pair Nomonde Vakalisa and Ntsikelelo Maphosa.