POPULAR gospel artist Margaret Gahadzikwa has successfully blended various popular traditional styles of dance music in Zimbabwe as bait to lure people to hear the word of God.
Gospel music sermon with The Master
Popularly known as Mai Gahadzikwa, her latest release early this month, an eight-track album titled Kastep kuTende, mixes sungura gospel and the swift rhythm of the traditional beats such as jiti.
In fulfilling her family’s mission to put their Christian faith into song, she has produced three albums plus a DVD to date.
Mai Gahadzikwa’s debut album Kudururwa kwenyasha was released in March 2015, with the second Chiedza Chauya coming out in the same month the following year.
Mai Gahadzikwa said her strategy is to use various music beats as a bait for people of various music tastes to be able to listen to the message of God she will be delivering.
“Sungura gospel is my main beat, but I also include traditional beats with a bit of mbira and shakers in it; I also use Jiti for those who are into it, as I believe this will lure a variety of people to want to listen to my music.
“The title song Kastep kuTende talks about the four men in the city of Samaria who suffered from leprosy and were thrown out of the city as found in 2 Kings 7: 3-11,” she said.
“In this song, I encourage people to take a step of faith as I say Tende ndiMambo Jesu, likening the tent to Christ, who is the bread of life.”
The 41-year-old musician also featured Rumbi Gatawa on the song Mweya neNyama which talks of the struggle between the flesh and spirit, as Paul says, “what I do is not what the Spirit wants me to do.”
Trymore Bande features on the song, Jesu ndichangamire where she informs people that Christ is the King, and discourages them from using totems, which are still being used even by Christians.
United Kingdom-based gospel musicians Lewis Ngara, Taurisai Ngara and Beatrice Masvingise, known as Mbuya Bee, also feature on the album.
Mai Gahadzikwa said she was already working on the video for Kastep kuTende, which should be out before year-end.
She was born Margaret Mupungai in Harare, having grown up in Musana communal lands.
“Singing gospel music started after I got married to Andrew Gahadzikwa in 1998 and I was then ushered into the praise team of Grace Communion International Church by our national director Pastor J. Mpofu. This got me to record my first album in 2015.
The arrival of her first daughter in the family, Faith, was her biggest miracle as they had faithfully waited for seven years for a child.
“We have two lovely daughters, Faith, who is 12 years old and Fayne, who is five years old.
Mai Gahadzikwa said Faith, who is blind and paralysed on her right side, has not been deterred from praising God and also sang Ndagutsikana on the album Kastep kuTende, while her husband serves in the band as the manager, as well as being her pastor, at the Elder of Grace Communion International Church.
“My Most memorable moment was when I participated in the Ebenezer celebrations at the Harare gardens with more than 20 gospel artists taking part, it was also live on radio Zimbabwe,” she said.
“This was a time many noticed that I was a force to reckon with and it got me many invitations and interviews with the media, plus collaborations with other artists.
“I have performed many free shows especially in churches, only to be rewarded by someone else sent by God the Almighty.”
While she believes that gospel music is on the rise because of the abundant talent being ushered in by God the Almighty, she stressed that more effort was required in marketing and more sponsors were needed to come on board to assist the gospel artists for the message to spread more.
Besides singing, she also assists her husband in his pastoral duties, as well as helping in a farming venture at their plot in Marondera.
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