Gweru-based gospel musician Tinomutenda Chihora is working on an eight-track DVD off his album, The Holy WiFi which is expected to be released next month.
By Moses Mugugunyeki
Chihora, a music teacher at Cecil John Rhodes School in Gweru, said the DVD brings diverse dancing and praise worshipping from various denominations, including his own Evangelical Lutheran Church in Zimbabwe (ELCZ).
“The DVD album showcases varied dancing and praising art from a number of churches which I usually work with during choral rehearsals and competitions. My church, ELCZ also exhibits its richness in music in this DVD,” he said.
“In the new project I also try to portray how I can unite my religious life, work business, family and social life through music.”
A nominee at last year’s Midlands Music Awards, Chihora features in his DVD pupils from Cecil John Rhodes Primary School and his wife Rashel burst into the music limelight as a backing vocalist on the song Chidhuura.
Listening to Chihora’s album The Holy WiFi, one can say that the gospel singer has come of age, as evidenced by his artistic prowess ranging from lyric writing to instrumentation. His song Mwari Vachadzoka, his first attempt to compose a piece using staff notation comes in a John Legend style with a natural jazz flavour.
“I would like to show the world that gospel music is still alive. It is the music which is needed at the moment when the young generation is resorting to the triumph of vulgarity. The young and upcoming artists need to approach music from a professional and business point of view. They need to understand that fame should not be separated from fortune or else it becomes a curse,” Chihora said.
“As Zimbabwe is getting ready to usher in a new dispensation in the form of digital broadcasting, the artists need to be geared to provide content that portrays this nation as a God-fearing and artistically adorned destination.
“Music is a carrier of culture and it mirrors the nation’s future, especially when the young people’s music is taken into consideration. As a teacher, I am geared to provide a strong foundation to the children’s would-be music carriers by taking them on board as I take this great stride into the music arena.”
Chihora, who is studying towards a Bachelor of Science, Music and Musicology Honours Degree said he wants to set an example that fame can be attained through hard work and not short cuts, as what some young artists are doing to gain public and media attention.
“Yes, from Gomututu Primary School right in the thick of things in Mberengwa, a music professor can be born,” he said.
Chihora trained as a teacher at Nyadire Teachers College in Mutoko before he obtained a Diploma in Music from the Midlands Academy of Music.
He has carved a niche for himself in the music industry in the country, earning himself prominence in music adjudication. He has worked with various churches and organisations that deal with music which include Methodist, Anglican, Reformed Church in Zimbabwe, AFM, Zaoga, Naph, Nash, Music Cross Roads Zim, Nacz (Road to Fame) and Zimbabwe Traditional Dancers Association.
Chihora can play and teach marimba, mbira, piano, recorder and choir. He also teaches music theory at primary level.
Meanwhile, Cecil John Rhodes Primary School participated in the National Institute of Allied Arts vocal and instrumental competitions held at Midlands Christian College last week. The pupils fared well with Rumbidzai Gwarinda attaining first class plus in piano while Joshua Msara and Charmaine Mpepu scooped the same accolade in traditional gospel vocal solo. Blessing Chigaba and Tanaka Matongo excelled in mbira solo.
The intermediate marimba ensemble got honours for their effort.
“I believe that the best teacher will never die, so I will strive to stand for the children whom I teach music in order for me to live forever,” said Chihora.