UPCOMING gospel songbird Whitney “Songbird” Dube has released a song for Zimbabwe — Sunrise (Nation Prayer) — in a busy week for local gospel music as so much was happening in the genre, with the country’s top artists such as Charles and Olivia Charamba, Reverend Togarepi Chivaviro being in the news for dropping hot albums, while Pastor G has another song on Africa’s top gospel channel One Gospel.
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On the day that I received good news that the video Indestructible by Pastor G is now on One Gospel, I later had an awesome night on Wednesday at the launch of the Maranatha DVD album by Chivaviro at the Anglican Cathedral in Harare.
The Ebenezer hitmaker donated all the proceeds from the launch, including gate takings and sales of the awesome DVD to sponsor the educational needs of 21 disadvantaged schoolchildren in Gokwe.
Before that in the same week it is the song Sunrise — produced at Limitless Productions by Ela Bass and mixed and mastered at Insound Studio by Tawanda Midzi — which caught my eye, as it comes at no better a time to heal our country Zimbabwe which is at the crossroads.
The Bulawayo-bred Whitney Songbird said it is the church’s responsibility to stand in the gap for the nation in prayer.
“This song was birthed, composed in a place of prayer for the land of Zimbabwe and it’s coming out as a reminder, a wake up call, an inspiration to the children of God to raise their voices in prayer for the nation,” she said.
Whitney added that she was also working on her first album and so far, she has released three singles — Sunrise Nation Prayer, Man of Galilee and I Believe in Miracles.
She also did a duet titled Rooted in The Word with Best Mukundi Masinire.
“Sunrise Nation Prayer comes as reminder, a wake up call, an inspiration to the children of God to raise their voices in prayer for the nation of Zimbabwe in these trying times.
It’s our responsibility as the church to stand with the nation in prayer. The word of God instructs us to pray in 1 Timothy 2 vs 1-3,” she said.
“The best way the church can be involved in the affairs of a nation is when they get involved in praying for the nation…the best way the church can contribute in the affairs of a nation is when they contribute in prayer for the nation…..the best way the church can be heard in a nation is when they raise their voices to God in prayer for the nation.”
Songbird sings soft classic music which is mostly worship songs and upbeat songs, mostly with a South African house music influence.
“I think it’s because my art grew more during the time I was in Bulawayo where those beats are common in our nation,” she said.
“Aim to bring in something new and different, be inspired by those who have gone before you but don’t copy them, be different. I always say ‘minister songs which uplift people’s spirits not crush them’.
“Don’t remind people of how much they have suffered or sinned, minister hope, healing, love, comfort. Your music should direct people to God and His word, your music should edify.
“I would like to say thank you to my man of God Pastor Chris who declared, by the Spirit of God, the month of June as the month of prayer, giving specific instructions that we should pray for our leaders, those in authority and pray for the countries in which we live. His words gave birth to this song.”
She has ministered alongside great ministers like Sinach when Pastor Chris came to Zimbabwe in May. It marked another direction in her music ministry because she learnt a lot from the Nigerian artists who came.
“My solo music ministry grew and gained much ground when I joined Christ Embassy in 2006, singing in the choir and also feeding my spirit with the word of God which I receive in the ministry helps me make my own music,” she said.
Internationally, her favourite ministers are Sinach and Tasha Cobbs. Locally, it’s Janet Manyowa and Minister Michael Mahendere.
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