PASTOR Charles Charamba and wife Olivia, who are mainly referred to as the “First Family of Gospel Music”, on Wednesday finally launched their much-awaited 10-track album WeNazaretha at a colourful ceremony at SterKinekor, Eastgate Mall.
The launch was graced by an array of artistes from different genres among them Alick Macheso, Peter Moyo, Somandla Ndebele, Mathias Mhere, Oliver Mtukudzi, Jah Prayzah, Albert Nyathi, Leonard Zhakata, Machanic Manyeruke, Mai Chisamba, parliamentarian Nelson Chamisa, Information and Communication Technology, and Postal and Courier Services minister Webster Shamu and National Arts Council of Zimbabwe (NACZ) officials among others.
The Charambas engaged Diamond Studios to market and distribute the album which was auctioned for $255.
Charles Charamba said, “It was hard for us to be where we are today after doing 10 demo tapes. It took us six years to receive airplay as we were told we had to adjust our type of music as we were trying to come up with a new style in the music industry,” Charamba said.
Charamba said at the initial stages they struggled to give a name to their type of music and only called it Zimbamusic.
NACZ director Elvas Mari congratulated the Charambas for keeping local gospel misic ahead and also bemoaned the issue of piracy.
“The artistes’ projects are not recognised because of piracy that has seen many of them failing to release albums,” Mari said.
“There must be enforcement on piracy which is theft of intellectual property.”
Veteran gospel artiste Mechanic Manyeruke said the Charambas are some of the artistes who had followed in his footsteps.
Interestingly the musician spoke glowingly about himself and his career instead of the Charambas. But nonetheless he was hilarious.
“Vamwe vasikana nevakomana vanoitazvekuimba Nyaya dzavo hadziite. Let us sing what makes the world recognise us. Do not sing for fame, but you must humble yourself if you are to take your career to greater heights.”
Albert Nyathi representing Zimbabwe Music Rights Association (Zimura) took the time to introduce his forthcoming album Umoya/The Wind that will be launched today at Alliance Francaise in the capital. Talk of armbush marketing; or is it seizing the moment! The veteran poet also made a notation on the exquisite venue and hinted that Zimbabwean musicians were not supposed to be struggling to get venues when there were venues like SterKinekor
“These are the typical venues we use when we are performing abroad,” he said.
Nyathi also expressed concern over music piracy.
“We are worried that tomorrow [yesterday] will see the disc in the streets selling for $1. Please people stop buying from pirates so that we do not die poor,” Nyathi said.
Guitarist-music producer Clive Mono Mukundu said, “This album was overdue. We thank the Charambas for being our role models as they have managed to preserve their marriage.
Sungura artiste Ndebele said: “Charamba is my friend who encourages me in my music career and also uplifts me in prayers. The Charambas have built many marriages through their music.”
Popular local gospel diva Joyce Simeti said: “I had become clueless as our leaders had taken too long to release an album because they set the trends. Amai Charamba uplifts me so much especially when it comes to cleanliness,” drawing laughter from the auditorium.
Guest of honour Shamu said, “We are looking at the issue of piracy within our ministry, but the issue requires people to work together to curb it,” Shamu said. Shamu made a commentary on each of the 10 tracks on the album, but that was not before he invited all the artistes present went to the stage where he made them sing a hymn. As expected, it was Alick Macheso’s gestures that drew laughter from the crowd as he appeared not to have a clue of how to sing the popular song.