GOSPEL musician Janet Manyowa on Sunday night confirmed once again that she is a trendsetter with a top-notch and colourful online launch of her latest single, Tariro (Hope), off her forthcoming album during her Hope Online Concert.
BY PHILLIP CHIDAVAENZI
The launch — presented by Janet Manyowa Music and Gateway Stream (a Rainbow Tourism Group subsidiary) — was a full package show featuring Takesure “Zamar” Ncube and South African artistes Dr Tumi and Hlengiwe Ntombela-Mthethwa, popularly known as HLE.
It was a class act from the beginning – three solid hours of pure magic — watched by over 2 500 Facebook users, confirming the reality that Manyowa’s live shows are always vintage performances.
Manyowa opened her set with Nyasha Nengoni and performed Muri Mwari Wangu before unveiling the latest offering ahead of the premiere of its official video on YouTube yesterday.
“Tonight, we are launching the new single, Tariro, off our forthcoming, yet-to-be-named album. We are thankful to God for this opportunity to speak hope to you,” she said.
She said the song was dedicated to Zimbabwe, a broken nation battling an unprecedented economic crisis that has seen the impoverishment of the majority of citizens.
Manyowa had to launch the single online following government’s ban on public gatherings through a lockdown to interrupt the spread of coronavirus COVID-19.
The gospel diva also used the platform to take her fans down memory lane as she reached deep into the archives to perform 10 gospel tracks she said had influenced her music journey. The playlist included Mirira Mangwanani (Shingisai Suluma), Ndofamba (Prince Mafukidze), Handidzokere Shure (Ivy Kombo), Nditorei (Shuvai Wutawunashe), Munogona (Pastor G), Tinokutendai (Brian Sibalo), Africa (Olivia Charamba) and Tambira Jehovha (Celebration Choir).
The smooth and seamless set was characterised by amazing stagework and some sleek dance moves as well as good picture and sound quality with no hiccups along the way.
Viewers’ comments showed that indeed, Manyowa has scaled heights that many local gospel musicians have not reached courtesy of professionalism and sound management, with one user saying: “My next child will be named Tariro because of this live show”.
Afro-centric musician Willis Wataffi, who also watched the show online, said: “Thank God for this unmatched Holy Spirit ministration”. United Kingdom-based gospel singer Jane Doka described Manyowa’s voice as “roaring”.
Gospel artiste Joshua Mtima had opened the show alongside his sisters with a performance for the archives, which demonstrated that the organisers of the show meant business from the beginning. Their set attracted a deluge of adulations from fans.
The trio paved the way for HLE, whose phenomenal performance was characterised by a voice to die for. She performed several tracks including Consuming Fire, as she sang about how God is more powerful than sickness and depression, mental illness, emotional distress and how insecurities and viruses bow before his throne.
Following HLE’s performance, Takesure Zamar took to the stage and performed several songs including the blockbuster, Chinyarara Nyika, a dedication to Zimbabwe. His song list also included the well-loved Agere Pachigaro and Kuregerera in Advance.
As Zamar performed, a user wrote: “I was on the verge of taking out my life, but this concert just came in… good timing.”
Following the online show, Manyowa took to Facebook to thank her fans: “Thank you for your amazing support fam. Tonight was special.”
The flawless delivery was encapsulated in the words of another fan who posted that the concert lived up to its billing.
“These are levels for a Facebook concert. You have nailed it,” he said.
Manyowa, who is known for her touching and inspirational songs, has managed to sing her way into gospel music lovers’ consciousness over the last six years and has become a household name.