Operating within a fraternity where choral music is waning at the expense of instrumental gospel music, The Redeemed gospel ensemble from Epworth Methodist Church has defied odds by embarking on a tour marketing their latest album, Zvaringana.
By Jairos Saunyama
The 10-member group — whose fine music can be mistaken for the traditional popular ensemble, Vabvuwi, MUMC Harare West — will in January tour South Africa, where they are going to stage a number of shows.
Spokesperson of the group, Thesus Shambare, said despite the ensemble facing massive financial challenges, they would use the available resources to market their album as they believe they are one of the best choral groups in the country.
“We are doing our best in the music industry and we know that we have our own fans who appreciate our type of music. However, lack of funds hinders the growth of the group and that is why it even took the group two years to record a new album,” said Shambare.
“We are determined in our mission of spreading the gospel through music and nothing will stop us. We do not have a convenient transport system, thus, when invited to perform at long distance venues, we sometimes cancel, but we believe that a breakthrough is imminent sometime soon.”
Since its inception in 2011, The Redeemed — whose music comprises the use of traditional drums, rattles and trumpets — has become a household name among church members as well as other gospel music enthusiasts.
Locally, they have shared the stage with gospel greats like Charles Charamba and Sebastian Magacha, among others.
However, the group’s major breakthrough will be in January when they perform in South Africa.
“Members of the group are a family. They stick to what they agree on and that is why they have managed to sail through these five years, contributing money towards the group’s projects from their pockets,” he said
“We are performing at functions that include weddings and birthday parties. By doing so, we believe we will raise money for the group’s welfare. We are scheduled to perform in South Africa in Germiston and Cape Town in January.”
“This trip is of great importance to the group and the church as it fulfills one of our many objectives — to be known beyond the borders.”
The Redeemed has released three albums — Jesu Ari Mufudzi (2011), which also was a DVD album, Chishamiso (2012) and the latest Zvaringana. Each album encompasses songs from the Methodist Church hymn book while the other songs are composed by group members.
Apart from Shambare, other group members are Weston Muchemwa, Josiah Tambudzai, Terence Mhere, Cuthbert Gaura, Ashley Mawarire, Justice Marufu, Evans Masiiwa, John Simiti and Lincoln Murape.