THE sugar cane-producing town of Chiredzi has produced a sweetened voice in the form of songstress Mharidzo Hetisani, which is set to light up the local gospel music industry and raise the profile of the Lowveld area in music circles.
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Mharidzo has debuted with a captivating and refreshing praise and worship nine-track album, which also goes by the name Mharidzo and a single Sinner’s Prayer.
Her novel decision to lead people to Christ through her single Sinner’s Prayer is what has caught the eye of many in the Christian fraternity about Mharidzo, who is also a backing vocalist for multi-award winning local gospel sensation Togarepi Chivaviro of the Ebenezer fame.
“It’s a prayer that leads a person to Christ. I saw it fit to win souls for Christ through the song, after I heard a secular song while travelling in a kombi the other day,” she said.
“This is in line with Romans 10:9 in the Bible which says that ‘if thou shall confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shall believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved’.
“I am working on my second album and promise my followers to expect more to come. My upcoming album is entitled Another Chance and it’s all about coming back to God, there are many people who are suffering because of sins.
“They are not sure if God will accept them again because they think that their sins are beyond forgiveness.”
To those who were with her in primary school, her foray into the music industry came as no surprise, as she was fond of singing at a tender age and was leading the school choir at Madzivire Primary School in Chiredzi.
“Singing is a God-given talent. I was born a singer with a melodious voice. As I was growing up I liked singing and started at a tender age of eight years. I could sing at school, leading choirs at school,” she said with a conviction of a person who knows that her time has come.
Many people have a lot of questions, wondering if Mharidzo — which means a sermon — is her first name or surname.
She said it was her late sister who was the second born in a family of 10 children who blessed her with the name. She is thankful for the biblical name, as it would later serve to rebuke her whenever she was about to stray away from her Christian walk.
At one time she even longed to take up modelling as a career. She narrated her Damascene moment in her career path.
“I cannot say I was inspired by something but God called me to this ministry Himself. I was slim and beautiful, qualifying to be a model and I liked it,” she said.
“I really wanted to be a model, but little did I know that God had already deposited His seed in me. I wanted to contest in the Miss Chipangai High School competition, but I became a leader in the Scripture Union.”
She said her calling came a day before the show, when she heard a voice saying to her: “What if you become Miss Zimbabwe, will your name match such a career?”
“I told myself to remain in the Scripture Union. That’s why I say God called me to be in this gospel music ministry.
“To upcoming artists, I say press on, be confident of yourself and know that you can do anything through Christ who strengthens you.”
Locally, she is a fan of Baba and Mai Charamba as well as Reverend Chivaviro while internationally, the world-acclaimed gospel great Michael W Smith is her favourite.
Married with three children, Mharidzo is happy that she has been blessed with “a very supportive husband”, which has made her multiple roles of being a mother, a musician and one of the four backing vocalists for Reverend Chivaviro at his live shows easier.
“It’s by the grace of God that I am able to balance my duties. I have a very supportive husband who even escorts me to shows and supports me financially when recording.”
You may contact the columnist, Albert Masaka on e-mail: email@example.com Cell or WhatsApp 0776963414.