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E700 000 PUMPED INTO IPRAISE GOSPEL FESTIVAL

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EZULWINI – Destiny Group will be hosting its first ever gospel music festival on August 10.


Called the iPraise Gospel Festival, it is scheduled to take place next month at the Mavuso Trade and Exhibition Centre and will feature award winning gospel giants in Africa including Nigerian gospel artist Tim Godfrey of Nara fame.
Joining the reigning Africa Gospel Awards (AGAFEST) Artist of the Year winner, will be multi-award winning South African Gospel musician Dr Tumi and Joyous Celebration’s Sibusiso ‘SbuNoah’ Mthembu.


The line-up will also include local gospel artist Mayibongwe Mthimkhulu.
The innovative gospel festival is a development from the annual Joyous Celebration show which used to thrill gospel lovers in the country. This was confirmed by Destiny Group founder Tom Lin.


“We hope the Eswatini nation will embrace this festival and we invite them to come and praise with us. We assure the public a great production in terms of stage, sound   and lighting,”  Lin said. He added that their vision was to host Africa in the country through gospel music.
He then unveiled the ticket prices which will be retailing at E150 for general and E280 for VIP. He mentioned that the ticket prices were now lesser than previous shows.


Innovative


E700 000 has been pumped into this show by sponsors of the festival.  It was also mentioned that Destiny Group had partnered with VOC FM from Ermelo, which will be marketing the event in Mpumalanga and doing interviews with some of the artists in a deal that is said to be worth E25 000.
Eswatini National Council of Arts and Culture CEO Stanley Dlamini said he was excited about the festival as he said it was innovative.


“We are happy Destiny Group has continued to show how innovative they can be. We support this festival and we are happy about the accessibility as the prices have been dropped. Everyone will now afford to buy a ticket and attend the show,” he said.


While representing the sponsor, Sibusiso Nhleko said they believed in energy and innovation. He said they were happy to bring in new talent and urged the public to prepare their dancing shoes for the festival as they were putting together an exciting event.


Nhleko said they were open to hosting Joyous Celebration in the near future under this new festival.
It is not clear why Destiny Group decided to cut ties with Joyous Celebration for the annual show, however, Lin maintained that the change was propelled by their desire to grow and bring something different to the nation.


The Association of Christian Artists in Eswatini (ACASWA) through its Convener Mathokoza Mtetwa welcomed the new gospel festival with open hands and wished it well.  Mtetwa hoped to partner with them in the near future.


Celebration


The news was met with mixed feelings by followers of the popular gospel outfits which hail from South Africa.
Lindelwa Dlamini said she was a big fan of Joyous Celebration and was looking forward to seeing them perform in the country this year.
“I am disappointed to learn that they will not be coming to the country this year but as a gospel music lover I am happy that a new gospel festival has been introduced to replace the Joyous Celebration show,” she said.




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