By Takemore Mazuruse
Widely known as the first family of gospel music, the Charambas have carved a niche on the local music scene with their Fishers of Men outfit and they don’t seem to be slowing down.
Pastor Charles Charamba who fronts the celebrated gospel music outfit, recently turned 50 and social media went agog with unending congratulatory messages touching on his contributions to the Christian faith and religious views of many.
Standard Style sought an engagement with the man of the cloth, who founded Rooted in Christ Ministries in 2018. and he shared some exclusive details about his life history, music journey, milestones to date and plans for the future.
“I was born and bred in Mudzi and did both my primary and high school at Masarakufa. I have six siblings and happen to be the only surviving male child of my parents,” Pastor Charamba said.
“My Christian faith is a very important aspect of my life and I was baptised in 1989. Because of that, my music is firmly rooted in Christianity though I started composing church songs in 1988.
“While much of my growing-up was in Mudzi, I relocated to Harare in 1991 to seek greener pastures and find purpose in my life. It is in Harare that I met the love of my life Olivia and eventually married in 1997.”
Of his passion for music, the man of the cloth said he grew up with the gift to compose and was blessed to have been born to musical parents, who influenced his career path.
“I grew up with both a gift of singing and composing. My parents were also good singers and because of that background, I became the youngest choir member at my school when I was in grade six. I then started recording in 1995, on February 2 to be precise,” he said.
“While I respect the genre choices of other musicians, my choice of a genre is a calling and I don’t see myself switching to something else. I received a call to centre on Christian music and that with other factors are my motivational backdrops.”
While music has got the charms to soothe a savage heart like Shakespeare said, it is the beauty of love that has kept the Fishers of Men and Rooted in Christ Ministries founder on course and he is grateful to God for having met the love of his life at the right time.
“I met Mai Charamba at church after she had relocated from Gweru following her father’s death. We became acquainted to each other through common activities that include singing in the choir, being members of an outreach team and belonging to the same youth group,” he said.
“I then invited her to join Fishers of Men after she had shownÂ keen interest in my style of singing. When I prayed for a spouse, the Holy Spirit led me to her and we eventually dated and got married.”
Blessed with a rich discography that continues to wow many gospel music lovers to this day, Pastor Charamba has remained down-to-earth and continues to be a person of character even with the pressures that come with being a celebrity singer.
Asked how he has managed to produce such quality and well-meaning music while circumventing the pitfalls of fame and the snare of temptations associated with success, the Buruka hit singer told Standard Style that it was all thanks to pure reverence of God and the desire to please Him.
“I toe the line that I, was shown by the Lord. I however, can’t boast that I am an exceptional character, the grace of God has escorted me all the way. Personally, I value mixing principles, rule of thumb standards and a sense of excellence.” Pastor Charamba said.
“I revere God such that I weigh my activities and products against the quality that God is, though it may not be practically achievable all times.Â ‘If God comes in person to listen to my song, would He take any pleasure?’, is an example of the questions that keep me agitated for better standards,” he said.
The respected gospel singer also shared some insights into his guiding principles and intimated that he was grateful to God for a wife who has brought stability to his life.
“It is never easy staying grounded and on course in a career awash with its own challenges, but I thank God for seeing me through. Grace is the major factor really. I also have made a choice to be satisfied with anything that God grants,” he said.
“I have always shunned competition. I love to be my own person though I socialise. I have told myself that I beat nobody musically and that no one beats me because we have never been set on a race with the same terrain, length and weather conditions. I also thank God for my wife who is there to partner with me even on the formal side of things. Her presence plays a role in guarding me morally.”
For a man who recently turned 50, Pastor Charamba looks fairly younger and he shared some insights into his longevity.
“Character has a bearing in music to some extent. It’s relative to the type of music that a person specialises on. Generally, delinquent behaviour cuts short longevity and I really thank God that He has kept me this far and He still continues to lead and guide my path,” he said.
Largely known to be a member and pastor with AFM church, Pastor Charamba founded Rooted in Christ Ministries in 2018 and he also spoke of the secret behind that decision.
“The Lord implanted in us the idea to preach elsewhere from AFM, the church which nurtured us since childhood, and we listened. We seek to just do the will of God who called us and we have received the grace to start well though some resources are inadequate,” he said.
“Rooted in Christ is our name and the major preoccupation is preaching a simplified gospel to the common man.”
Even with the burden of ministry in a generally challenging economic environment among other militating factors, Pastor Charamba promised more new music.
“We believe in the power of music to minister hope and salvation to all and for that reason we will continue giving ourselves to gospel music ministration. There is a lot in store in relation to music, more releases are coming and we hope to introduce various other concepts to grow the mission,” he said.
“I have released about 13 albums to date, but we don’t have plans to quit. The gospel must reach all corners of the world and we are happy to be employing this two-pronged approach through music and Rooted in Christ Ministries.”
As if the talents of Pastor Charles Charamba and his wife Olivia are not enough, Zimbabwe was to wake up to some amazing music from the two Charamba girls Shalome and Eternity who respectively released beautiful singles titled Mbiri Yose and Tonamata, which attracted meaningful hits online. Shalom also has another song titled Holy is Your Name and Pastor Charamba said he felt blessed to see his children ministering through music.
“Our children are all musical and gifted differently though they have a lot in common. They seem to realise that the calling of Abraham is the calling of Isaac and Jacob as well,” he said.
“We are not pushing them to take up music as a career as such, but we are guiding them appropriately in case they choose to. I think the future of gospel music is safe, not just referring to our children, but also a lot of youths who are showing signs of being God-loving artistes.”