SPIRITUALLY-INSPIRED eloquence strikingly stems from one of Zimbabwe’s fast-rising upcoming praise and worship gospel music sensations — Minister Michael Mahendere (pictured) — a product of the United Family International (Ufic) gospel music ministry, as I interviewed him last week.
gospel music sermon with The Master
“We are all ministers unto God, but I believe Minister Mahendere means a servant of God who serves at His throne, doing some errands for Him, even sometimes ministering to His people,” he said while summing up his purpose in serving God, through the ministration of the Word through music.
With three albums under his belt, the singer of the hit song Makanaka Jesu aptly describes his chosen music genre — praise and worship — and its purpose:
“Our music is praise and worship unto the Lord Jesus Christ and is also inspirational information for our walk with the Lord. I believe that our music is an unending message unto God that expresses our love towards Him,” he said.
Mahendere, whose albums Getting Personal With God 1 and 2 have done well, also believes the music should endow people with the hunger to create personal relationships with the Holy Spirit and he believes artists should take it full time.
On his latest offering, Getting Personal With God 3 Breakthrough, set for the shelves this month, Mahendere assured fans that the album was big.
“I tell you, I’m actually shocked by this version of Minister Michael Mahendere on it”, he said with a chuckle, promising much more mature music in Getting Personal With God 3 Breakthrough, set to be released on March 24 and going into mass distribution everywhere, including online stores.
Born in a Christian family of seven children, such a flawless outflow of the message of God during the interview came as no surprise; for Mahendere is bold enough to convey the message to gospel music followers that his success is no fluke. Success has been a part of him since childhood. He does not at all believe in coincidence, he stresses when asked if his successful foray into gospel music was by accident.
“Definitely not by coincidence… coincidence is one thing that I do not believe in. As you already know, I was born in a family that believed strongly in God and our biological father and mother impressed upon us the foundation and ways of Christ, and by grace I never departed from it.
“We [me and my brothers] ventured passionately into this music ministry and industry genre, although I worked with other secular groups after for experience and growth in music career,” he said.
Michael started off with a family gospel group called Mahendere Brothers, with his three siblings Akim, Amos and Misheck and they recorded a number of albums making their name in the industry.
Why say, “biological parents”? I was tempted to ask, but he explained: “My music gift was a gift planted within and was greatly endorsed by my spiritual father and mother in the Lord, Prophet Emmanuel Makandiwa and Prophetess Ruth Makandiwa. They made me to be a minister I am today, still making by the teachings and mentorship I’m receiving from them.”
Simply put: he says he has his biological parents and then his spiritual ones, Emmanuel and Ruth Makandiwa, who are founders of Ufic, and his mentors.
He then advises on the oftentimes turmoil of the gospel singer who had sinned.
“Do not despair, move on and leave the past behind, but don’t go on a sinning spree,” he said.
“Can a car abandon its carrier of transportation because of a flat tyre? Just change it and put it behind you [in the boot] and move forward. You see, we worship a God who forgave us at the cross about 2 000 years ago.
“ A person with a mission in the kingdom of God is definitely fought, that is why the Holy Spirit is also in the business of helping people to overcome sin and temptations. He has forgiven us, but it is definitely not an excuse to go about on a sinning spree.
“We have to let go of our sins and choose the right path. If not so, your influence in His kingdom will go down with you.”
He loves the work of international singer Ghananian Sonny Badu, Minister Sark, Kirk Franklin, Hillsong, Bethel Music, Jesus Culture, and local worshipper Larry Gunda, just to mention a few.
It’s all bliss for the Mahendere couple on the marriage front.
“Wow, I’m married to a wonderful and beautiful wife, Vimbai, she is among my mentors. I listen to her voice, because God gave her to me as a helper. My wife does a lot in my life and we minister together in music, I can say our first collaboration on the song Zvinhu Zvose Zvichanaka has been an outstanding song up to date. She is so supportive and loving, she is a pillar of our music ministry,” he said.
“We also did another song which is coming on Getting Personal With God 3, the song is called Masimba.”
Besides having the passion and gift that is within an individual, a gospel artist should commercialise to eke a living, Mahendere said.
“How are you to take care of the body that carries the gift? After all, a man’s gift maketh room for him so it should also do likewise even in his pocket. And also a laborer is worthy of his wage. Proverbs even says we are to be rewarded here on this physical earth.”
You may contact the columnist, Albert Masaka on email: [email protected] Cell or WhatsApp 0776963414