BY RANGANAI DZOTIZEI
Rising music ensemble Mufudzi Wakanaka Gospel Choir are really onto something if their latest offering is anything to go by.
Titled Tichasangana Kudenga, the eight-track album is a different cake from the previous two albums by a mile in its deep nature.
Four years after their last release, an enforced hibernation due to the Covid-19 pandemic ensured the choir worked round the clock to package and think outside the box how best to give the avid traditional gospel music listener something unique to think about.
The disasters that have plagued the past three years seemed to inspire the choir on this project and this dish is a recipe of hope.
“This album was well thought of as we addressed current issues facing people, disasters, death, politics, the state of the economy and the general life of a Christian,” said the group’s chairman Blessing Mandabva.
To add a bit of grit to their latest project, the choir featured versatile musician Stanley Gombakomba, one half of the famous Gombakomba brothers who now front Marimba Edenga Gospel Singers.
His silky voice and artistry on backing vocals is heavily felt in the album, giving it a surreal defining dimension.
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“Initially we had agreed to have Bright, but he was committed with recordings with Harare MUMC Choir on the day,” Mandabva said.
“They are veterans and experienced in this Chibvuwi music and are not like other established musicians who are there for competition.
“They fit perfectly well in the group as ours is mainly concerned with ministry and not rich pickings.
“Featuring Stanley gave us another dimension in our music.”
The title track Tichasangana Kudenga takes a comforting reflection of the pain and sadness that came with the recent natural disasters from Cyclone Idai and Covid-19 and the inevitable loss of family and friends it brought, giving the listener solace and hope after all this, the second life will reunite the living with the departed in the Lord’s Mighty glory.
Mamwe Mazuva champions the modern day Christian and ministers of religion to keep pressing in ministry amidst the everyday challenges the endeavour to bring souls to Christ brings.
The song Mweya Mutsvene Buruka is a calming invitation to the Holy Spirit to take charge of our lives and the constant insecurities that come with life of the ordinary Zimbabwean.
In a great departure from previous albums, the choir attempted some hymnals in the United Methodist Church hymn book not often sung and really hit the right notes on Papatyo Kunemwi Tenzi and Pasi Pemakumbo Jesu.
Other songs on the album include Musandipfuura Jesu, Jesu Wakapfava and Jesu Muponesi.
The choir, derives great inspiration from the Gombakomba brothers and the legendary Harare MUMC Choir Vabvuwi, and is already reaping huge rewards for the effort as the album has penetrated into countries like Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom since its release as fans continue to endorse their third new baby since its official release last Sunday.
Established in 2016, the 12-piece ensemble has 10 members from Hatfield circuit and one of each from DomboraMwari and Msasa Park circuits of the United Methodist Church.
Prior to this album, they have released Nhasi Ngatimutondere (2017 ) and Mwari Mukuru the following year.
Mandabva said the choir’s ultimate vision is to continue churning out albums annually couple with video compilations and do more collaborations with other artistes in the genre like the Gombakombas as they aim to stake a claim in an already competitive yet rich music division.
The album was produced by rising producer Gibson Makumbe.