Oliver Mtukudzi shares the stage with Pastor Charles and Mai Charamba at Richwood Sports Club today.
BY OUR STAFF
The gig is one of the many shows bringing gospel and secular musicians together. Such shows have thinned the gap between the two genres.
In the past, it was unheard of for gospel musicians to share the stage with their secular counterparts. Gospel musicians took themselves as “too holy” to interact with non-gospel artists. However, despite the “holy” tag that was attached to gospel musicians, most of them were found wanting morally.
A number of gospel musicians were caught up in various controversies. Now many of them have realised that associating with fellow artists is not bad but personal character determines the “holiness” of one’s music.
Because of changes in the genre, many people question whether gospel music is a calling or commercial venture?
Selected gospel musicians gave their views on this issue:
Pastor Charles Charamba
For me it was a calling. I heard a voice when I was at a theological college telling me to spread the word through music. It needs a calling for a gospel musician to prioritise spreading the word over anything else.
Most gospel musicians will tell you that they were called, but their characters sometime leave a lot to prove their claims. I did music because it was a family art. My father and mother sang at traditional rituals and music was in my blood. I believe I was born a musician, but called to pursue gospel. My calling was my repentance and singing is my way of preaching.
Pastor G (Stanley Gwanzura)
People must understand that gospel musicians are human. Like any other Christian, they can be found on the wrong side of the religion. I do music as one of the many facets of my ministry, but musicians also want to earn a living and that is how the commercial aspect comes in. Hard times in a gospel musician’s life usually determine whether one is doing it for commercial reasons or for ministry.
Gospel music is a ministry, but the devil at times fights musicians to kill potential. Gospel musicians face various temptations and some of them are defeated by the devil. There are also other gospel musicians that base their art on commercial motives and these are the most vulnerable.“
I never intended to go commercial: Shumba
Blessing Shumba said: When I started I did not want to sell music to people. I was just doing it for the church choir.
When my father died I recorded a song to console myself but many people liked it. That was how i started recording. We are not benefiting much from music and if it was not a calling i would have quit