South Africa-based Zimbabwean gospel singer Prosper Mateva recently scooped the African Gospel Music Association award for being the best discovery of the year.

The 29-year-old Gweru-born artist became the first Zimbabwean ever to win an Agma at a ceremony held at the Golders Green Hippodrome in London. 

The talented artist, who has two albums to his name, beat nine other contenders from across the continent in the discovery of the year category.

Mateva’s second album titled “Pandimire” (Where l stand) that was released late last year won the former Midlands State University student the recognition which has landed him the Agma. The 11-track album, a fusion of Shona, Sotho, Zulu and English languages, has enjoyed considerable airplay on South African radio stations since its release.

Two other Zimbabweans Prince Mafukidze and Tatenda Gudyanga were also nominated in other categories, but failed to garner enough votes to win.

Mafukidze of the Driver fame, had been nominated in the Artist of the Year (Southern Africa) category, together with nine others from the region. But Patrick Duncan from South Africa won the award ahead of Mafukidze and others.

Gudyanga, known in the music circles as DeeJay Tait, lost out to Anthony Ndiema of Kenya and Fiifi Folson of Ghana in the Radio Presenter of the Year category. DeeJay Tait’s programme Gospel Train on ZIMNET radio failed to make it in the Radio Programme of the Year category which was won by Ukozi FMs Indumiso.

The Agma were based on a voting system. The artists who amassed the highest number of votes in their categories were declared winners. Voting, which started on June 1 2012, took 30 days.

The Agma community consists of 8, 000 members including agents, artists, managers, promoters, radio personnel, record companies and retailers, among others. Apart from sponsoring the annual awards, Agma is also responsible for the hosting of Africa Gospel Music Festival and Phoenix, Africa Gospel Music Heritage Exhibition.