Gospel music is downplayed: Chivasa

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GOSPEL artiste Jonah Tinashe Chivasa says gospel music must not be all about performance, but a ministry with the songs’ messages leaving a lasting impression in the listener’s heart.

BY WINSTONE ANTONIO

In a wide-ranging interview with NewsDay Life & Style yesterday, as he dropped his latest song titled Dururai Nyasha that features Prince Mafukidze as an Easter special, Chivasa said there was a lot of downplay of gospel music because of the belief that the genre lacked style, creativity and professionalism.

“As a gospel artiste I am aiming for a household brand status which will focus on creation, performance and spiritual ministry to the listeners founded on a global perspective. This is largely motivated by the fact that most believe that gospel music is a genre lacking in style, creativity and professionalism, a perception that I seek to change,” he said.

“The biggest drive of my career is quality, innovation and commitment. In order to maintain and perpetuate a career of excellence in the gospel music arena, I aim to live the way I sing so that together, my life and career will merge into one wholesome serving for the soul around the world.”

Chivasa, who holds a diploma in occupational safety, health and environmental management, said the qualification had helped him in his environmental awareness campaigns.

The musician said Dururai Nyasha was inspired by 2 Chronicles 7:14 in which God calls on his people to humble themselves and seek him, he would heal their land.

“The single comes at the most relevant time when the world is faced with this pandemic (COVID-19) and other challenges. In Shona and English the song represents a nation crying out to God in compliance with that scripture, believing that God is the only one who can heal our world,” he said.

Chivasa started performing to multitudes of people in 1998 at the annual Apostolic Faith Mission (AFM) church conference in Rufaro, Masvingo as part of a Sunday school act before he composed his first song when he was in Grade 6.

The musician, whose parents are both AFM pastors, has recorded one nine-track album titled Jeso, featuring local artistes that include Pastor G, Mathias Mhere and Prince Mafukidze.

“I am happy with the support I am getting. Our songs have made hits on local airwaves with our high-profile video titled Ndozvinoita Nyasha also creating a huge following on different social media platforms,” he said.

Chivasa’s music has crossed borders to South Africa, Tanzania and Zambia and the singer has also attracted a following from as far as United Kingdom and United States.

“It is God’s grace that our music is playing beyond the borders. We have songs playing on Tanzania’s Tripple A FM, the Zambian Christian Radio Station and Camnet Zambia,” he said.

The singer said he was happy that the song Ndozvinoita Nyasha has managed to hit pole position on local radio stations’ music charts.

The video Ndozvinoita Nyasha has also been top listed on One Gospel and Christ TV.

“I have a big heart for orphans and the homeless and seeks to combine that with my ministry in music. The wider audience and my exposure are some of the resources I believe will guide the success of my community responsibility goals for orphans and the homeless,” he said.

The singer described himself as a talkative, outgoing and free-spirited person.

“Though I can’t dance to save my life, I am a fully-engaged minister, performer and can be an entertainer when on stage. I look forward to a comprehensive, life-challenging documentary in the future so I am fully applying myself,” he said.

Off the stage, Chivasa has been a player of badminton, who even qualified for the Zimbabwean badminton team.