BY STYLE REPORTER
Local gospel musicians have hailed video entertainment company DStv for launching a gospel music channel Trace Gospel.
Trace Gospel was launched on DStv channel 332 last month. The new channel is an offshoot of Trace, a channel that features the latest urban and Afro-urban music and news on celebrities, lifestyle, entertainment and culture.
Television broadcasting is handicapped by a limited variety in Zimbabwe where the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation enjoys the monopoly.
This has had a negative effect on the growth of the music industry, particularly the gospel music sector.
The coming on board of a TV channel dedicated to gospel music across the African continent has been most welcomed by local musicians.
“This is a stepping stone for us as musicians. It’s a great move that will provide more platforms for us to reach greater audience across Africa and the world,” Tatenda Mahachi said.
“The channel will help my music spread out to other countries l have never been to. I think by comparing my music with other African artistes, I will be motivated to improve the quality of my videos.”
Mahachi’s video of the song Victory was the first from a Zimbabwean artiste to be played on the new channel.
Gospel diva Tafadzwa Mukaro was delighted with the new development.
“The launch of Trace Gospel on DStv is a welcome development. We have very talented musicians and great music videos in Zimbabwe, which need international exposure. This platform will expose our local videos to the international audience,” Mukaro said.
“Trace Gospel will help market my music internationally. I have released both English and Shona songs, which I believe will expose me to other markets. This will also open opportunities to work with other international artistes since they will have an opportunity to view our music.
“Music evolves with time and has trends at certain periods of time. Gospel artistes will have welcome the exposure of maintaining compositions of music and videos trendy in line with regional and international standards.”
Gweru music teacher and gospel artiste Tinomuda Chihora said the coming of Trace Gospel would open avenues for upcoming artistes, especially those coming from small towns.
“Trace Gospel is a welcome development for us gospel musicians since it gives us a platform for our music videos to be played not only for the local fans, but for the regional, continental and global audience,” he said.
“It encourages us to produce
high-quality videos for global consumption. Having our music played on regional channels improves networking between local and foreign artistes creating opportunities for collaborations.
“We hope the channel will also consider playing music from upcoming musicians.”
Songstress Bethany Pasinawako-Ngolomi, who is riding high with a song titled Damba, a collaboration she did with Prophet Tapiwa Freddy, said she was ready to exploit the opportunities brought by the regional television channel.
“It’s an exciting development and as a Zimbabwean gospel musician, I am hoping this will help me reach a wider audience considering the amount of viewership that DStv commands in Africa,” she said.
Revered preacher and musician Pastor Josh Kays said the channel would help local artistes reach global markets.
Multichoice Zimbabwe publicity and public relations manager Liz Dziva confirmed the coming on board of the Trace Gospel.
“This channel showcases top-level local and international gospel music, with videos from various sub-genres that include contemporary gospel, urban gospel, worship gospel and traditional gospel,” she said.
“Trace Gospel will share music, news, worship and interviews, and it is a channel that is an exploration of gospel music, as well as a platform for the continent’s artistes to share the gospel sounds that resonate most with them.”