By Carlena Knight
The spotlight will be on media personalities, athletes and other prominent residents during the Antigua and Barbuda Gospel Music and Media Awards (ABGMA) later this year.
Former teacher, host and politician, Clephane “Mr Terrific” Roberts; former Voice of the People co-host and activist, Malika ‘Nikki Phoenix’ Moffett; gospel disc jockey, Mario “DJ Bless” Connor; activist Thalia Parker-Baptiste; and former Olympian, Everton “Mano” Cornelius are among those who will be recognised in various categories.
Both Roberts and Cornelius will receive ‘legacy’ awards in the field of education and athletics, respectively.
The others will receive ‘impact’ awards as follows: Moffet for social activism and outreach; Connor for music and the arts; and Parker-Baptiste for humanitarian work.
Also on the list of awardees is the Jamaican Honorary Consul to Antigua and Barbuda, former Observer reporter, Dr Onika Campbell, for journalism. Fellow Jamaican music consultant, coach and therapist Dr Jermaine Gordon will receive the global humanitarian award, while American minister, singer and civil rights activist, James C Birdsong Jr, will be awarded for music.
Also receiving a legacy award is American Lillian Lilly who is known as the longtime principal vocalist for the Mississippi Mass Choir.
These nine individuals will receive their honours on October 22 at the Legacy Ball.
That evening will also see the ABGMA host its media awards where the list of winners in each category will be announced.
Among them is Observer media’s Elesha George in the best journalist, current and news affairs, section.
George is a veteran in the news arena, having worked in Dominica and Antigua and Barbuda, and is best known for her investigative pieces on the YIDA development and homelessness.
She will be vying for the title against a former Observer media intern, Shahein Fitzpatrick.
Fitzpatrick is known mostly for his captivating work as a photo and video journalist.
Fitzpatrick could have the chance of walking away with two awards as he is also nominated for best documentary/short film with the piece ‘Reflections by Keron Nicholson’.
Also nominated in that category is Keyon Byron for ‘The Beggar Man’ and Hayden Billingy for ‘Shout it Out’.
Observer Media is also up for two awards – best news media and best online news media.
The other media categories include: best radio show entertainment, best radio show inspiration, best radio show social, best TV show talk, best TV show inspiration, best TV show host, national radio station of the year, radio station of the year, and best media network.
A day later on October 23, the music awards aspect will take centre stage with local, regional and international artistes and groups nominated in the various categories of best praise and worship, best dancehall, best reggae, best contemporary, best house/electric/dance, best urban/ R&B/ pop, best soca, best hip hop, best music video, best music video director, national artist of the year, national song of the year, songwriter of the year, best collaboration group/duo, international psalmist of the year male, national psalmist of the year female, song of the year, inspirational song of the year, producer of the year, and album of the year.
The ABGMA is hosting its seventh annual event under the theme ‘Global Impact’.