At a time a number of gospel music outfits are emerging, a Madziwa gospel music ensemble made up of immensely talented musicians has made its intentions clear with a scintillating album, laden with uplifting and touching songs that make you fall in love the very moment you give them an ear.
By Takemore Mazuruse
Known as The Remnants, the group has toured many parts of the country staging live performances. The group started off as a church choir. Speaking to The Standard Style, the group’s leader Johannes Kavanji said they were called for a time like this and will do all in their power to preach the gospel through inspired music.
“We call ourselves The Remnants because the name carries with it some religious connotations, whereby only the small minority of people who will remain faithful to God unto the end of time will be saved. Our music is therefore centred on the gospel of salvation and drawing multitudes to Christ,” he said.
Kavanji also said that The Remnants conveyed a gospel of salvation to the few people who remained faithful to God, according to the book of lsaiah 10:22. The group started in 2003 and back then they were known as Fishers of Boys. Kavanji recalls how they would move from church to church on Sundays and at any such Christian gatherings, preaching through music.
“Growing under the spirit of God, we used to sing in church congregations. However, like tree branches, we grew in our different ways, then some of the boys to quit while some remained part of the group. Some went to the cities for greener pastures due to a plethora of reasons and lack of patience, but that didn’t stop us. We continued composing and singing the gospel hits, even though it lacked instrumental taste,” he said.
With many group members having left, Kavanji, who had to work with his young brothers, started perfecting the art of playing various instruments in the group and by 2013 things started to gel. True to the name of the group, the remaining members rose to give impetus to what had seemed an impossible mission.
The Remnants’s breakthrough came last year when they recorded their first album and since then, their star has continued to shine, with performing opportunities coming their way every now and then.
“We got into the studio on April 15 last year after I had dreamt of myself climbing a ladder upwards holding a mic. I took that to be a sign from God after the struggles we had gone through and to this day, I am still amazed at how far the Lord has taken us. It was not easy, but I believe He had it all figured.
The gospel music group which is inspired by Oliver Mtukudzi, Charles Charamba and Munyaradzi Munodawafa is made up of nine members. Kavanji is the group leader and lead vocalist while Robson Kavanji, Macleish Kavanji, Taurai Makuwaza and Edwin Makamba make up the backing vocalists. On keyboard is Blessing Chaitwa while the drummer is Yelleson Danny. The lead guitarist is Amos Adani and Naison Jamu plays the bass guitar.
While many gospel music groups are finding the going tough, the warm welcome given by listeners and fans and the taste of their inspired gospel music has kept The Remnants going.
“We are merchants of hope and we dont believe the Lord took us this far to abandon us. We are here to stay and we will inspire generations with our music. The support we get from the locals and relatives and church members at large keeps us going. We are climbing that ladder and victory is certain,” Kavanji said.
If the group’s latest production, Tsvakai Kururama is anything to go by, The Remnants will be with us and rocking the local gospel music scene for a long time to come. Some of the most popular songs from the album include Permanentoo, Kukumbira Kumbira and Makomborero. While they share a likeness with CCAP, The Remnants group is unique in their own way.
The group leader also revealed that they were following up on their latest album with a DVD in the near future which would feature some of the best gospel music voices in Zimbabwe.