Contemporary gospel musician Bongani Mhlabi finally broke out of his cocoon and recently released a single titled My Name is Victory.
By Abigail Matsikidze
Mhlabi is renowned in gospel music circles for sharing the stage with prominent artists such as Israel Houghton and Micah Stampley (United States), Hiram Koopman (South Africa), Stanley “Pastor G” Gwanzura, Janet Manyowa, Audius Mtawarira and Mkhululi Bhebhe, among others.
The 29-year-old singer, who has been on the gospel music borders for the several years performing cover versions, said he took his time to learn the ropes in the music industry.
“I guess the right moment has come. I took time to learn and I am still learning because my ultimate goal is to minister. Christ has to be made popular out there, through praise and worship; lives must get better and souls must be saved,” he said.
Mhlabi said he was excited with the way his single — which borrows from the black American gospel style — has been well-received since its release.
“It has been received well, with sales both online and of hard copies soaring. The song is inspired by what our Lord Jesus Christ did on Calvary, bruised for our transgressions, going to hell, taking the keys and rising on the third day, thereby conquering death and the enemy, according to 1 John 5:4,” he said.
Mhlabi is working on an album titled after the single, which will be released later this year.
However, Mhlabi’s song is yet to hit the local radio airwaves but it’s just a matter of time before it does as interviews with a number of local radio stations have been scheduled.
A worship leader at Bishop Tudor Bismack’s New Life Covenant Church in Harare, Mhlabi hails from a strong musical background.
He is son to one of Zimbabwe’s gospel music greats, Rita Shoniwa, from whom he believes the music gift has been passed on to him.
His elder brother, Dumisani is also an artist, having made a name for himself with the group Appointed of the Somlandela fame.