IT is said when talent meets opportunity, greatness is born. It is rare to encounter the two together.
REPORT BY EMMANUEL MBONA
Living in a generation where opportunities are scarce and competition is rife, many talented teens have fallen into degrading ploys in a bid to attain fame.
However, 77 teens that are housed by one of Zimbabwe’s fastest growing gospel group Zimpraise, seem to have averted this misfortune.
“We discovered that there was a lot of talent in Zimbabwe which lacked the guidance and platform to showcase, so we thought of creating a team of young worshippers that would shape the future of Zimbabwe’s praise and worship,” co-founder of the group McDonald Chidavaenzi said.
Since its formation, Zimpraise has produced two CDs and two DVD concerts, giving young talent in Zimbabwe a great boost.
“At Zimpraise, I have been afforded a chance I could never have dreamed of my whole life,” an 18-year-old Sharon Manyongaise said.
Manyonganise has so far recorded her first eight-track album titled Rudo RwaJesu in which gospel icon Sabastain Magacha featured.
The teens have also been privileged to share the stage with some of the world’s most renowned gospel musicians such as Donnie McClurkin, Weimer Keke and Benjamin, among others.
Jacqueline Mapundu, who started performing with the group when she was in her teens, said working with Zimpraise had boosted her morale and confidence.
“I am proud to be part of this group which has moulded me and has instilled confidence in me,” she said.
Apart from just giving the youth a stage to perform, Zimpraise patrons have assisted the teens to produce their own works.
“What we are doing at Zimpraise is to capture these young talented teens, train them and then release them to carry out their own work.
“We are a bridge, in simple terms,” said Zimpraise manager Benjamin Rupapa.
Chidavaenzi, aka “McDee”, who is one of the founding members of the group, said their aim was to make Zimpraise the definition of gospel music through nurturing raw talent.
“Working with these youths has made our vision of making Zimpraise the definition of gospel music in Zimbabwe come true.
“Considering what we have achieved so far, it’s evident that we can realise this dream,” said McDee.
Zimpraise recently shared the stage with award-winning South African artiste Solly Mahlangu and gave what many called a breathtaking performance.