WHEN you have Jesus, urimonya (you’re a giant), says upcoming gospel artist Linia Wutete who has teamed up with self-confessed born-again jazz musician, Prudence Katomeni-Mbofana to release a single titled Mamonya naJesu.
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Wutete said Mamonya naJesuwas a track off her Volume 5 album, which is still in the making. She said it was a celebratory song that came about after listening to Minister Michael Mahendere and CCAP Voice of Mbare for more than five months.
An upbeat Wutete described herself as God’s vessel emerging from the brand Family Music launched by the United Family International Church choir, where she is a memberJazz singer, Katomeni, who is currently in Ethiopia attending a workshop, heaped praises on Wutete, saying she was gifted and promised to work with her in future
“She is an amazing woman who wants to use her gift from God and has a lot to give. The chemistry was just from the start and putting the single together was an amazing journey. We hope to work together, we might not collaborate per se, in future projects,” she said.
Katomeni, who happens to be Wutete’s mentor, said she approached her with an idea of a song and in “her heart of hearts felt she needed to collaborate with her”.
“She brought this beautiful song and I really liked it.
“Talking about gospel, I have never made it a secret that I am a born-again Christian. I love jazz and I know that it is the genre that my fans know me for, but within that jazz, I appreciate worship music,” Katomeni added.
Wutete, who has four albums to date, said her latest song had been well-received by every ear that it has touched.
“It’s just about listening once and people like it. My duty now is to reach out to as many people as possible. Believers or non-believers, everyone goes through battles of some sort and they want to conquer. People should expect more albums coming,” she said.
Wutete said she had not started yet to empty what God has loaded inside her.
Born in Buhera, Wutete said she became a gospel musician by calling; her parents were always singing but they never had a chance to record music. Her mother, who is sister to Sekuru Bhosvo of ZCC Mbungo Stars, was a lead singer in the Roman Catholic church.
Besides singing gospel music, Wutete also teaches music, trains choirs in the theory of music and musical instruments and also holds live shows.
She believes she is made up of music cells because everything about her is music
“I have a lot in my hands — my career, family, school, church. It’s quite a challenge although I try by all means to balance,” she said.
Wutete said her music carries messages to God in the form of praise, worship and prayers and to people in the form of encouragements and teachings.
She does not have a particular beat that she follows.
“Everything depends on the type of message and to who. It’s a mixed bag of genres in gospel that is reggae, rock, museve and Afro-fusion,” she said.
The forthcoming album is going to have praise songs, worship, prayers, encouragements and teachings.
Sharing the stage with South African gospel great, Rebecca Malope at the Gospel Divas in Concert 2016 at the Harare Gardens was her most memorable moment.
Locally, she is inspired by musicians Shingisai Suluma, Michael Mahendere and internationally by Hlengiwe Mhlaba, Jenn Johnson of Bethel Music, Pastor Shirley Caeser and Kim Walker.
“I have many testimonies in my life. My biggest one was to discover my purpose. I was confused and was not sure of who I was; I tried too many things but never found satisfaction,” she said.
“Now I understand what I am made of. All music. To me, it’s a ministry, a job, entertainment and business. That ability of seeing the difference is actually a miracle.”
Gospel music, according to her, is on the rise in Zimbabwe and it’s a real success as people remain committed no matter the challenges they face.