Centenary’s rising gospel singer Togara aims high

BY WINSTONE ANTONIO

CENTENARY-BASED up-and-coming gospel singer Stanley Togara  says his mission was to draw the world closer to the Creator through music laden with social commentary.

As he works on his yet to be titled debut album, Togara acknowledges that it was not easy for unheralded artsites especially those who are far from the capital to make inroads into the cut-throat music industry.

A teacher (Biology) by profession, Togara yesterday told NewsDay Life & Style that despite the challenges, he will, however, soldier on in his efforts to spread the word of God through music.

“Music profession is not that easy as there are a lot of challenges especially when you are an up-and-coming artistes like me. Funds for professional recording has been my major setback in my effort to establish a career in music,” he said.

Togara said he got interested in music together with his elder brothers in 1999 after they were inspired by the splendid performance by the praise and worship team at the pastors’ children conference held at AMFCC Bible College.

“We had never come across a live band playing, so that praise and worship group at the conference which we attended since our parents are pastors in the Zimbabwe Assemblies of God Africa (ZAOGA) church inspired us to start something,” he said.

“After the conference, when we returned home we started making drums from old pots and made simple guitars to imitate what we saw at the conference giving birth to a pursuit in music.”

In his quest for musical career, Togara said he received a major boost when his parents were transferred from Mazowe Mine to Rushinga where he met Nyadzisai Nyamukuvhengu who taught him and his brothers to play guitars.

“With the help of Nyadzisai Nyamukuvhengu, who played awesome Sungura music, we kept sharpening our skills and became better than before. I was, however, demoralised in 2010 by the passing on of my elder brother Desire in a car accident in Harare since he was better at playing guitars and he was the one who was teaching me as I lagged behind,” he said.

“After Desire passed on, I took a break and only resumed in 2015 recording songs at backyard studios singing gospel music on the popular Zimdancehall instrumentals, but it made no impact.”

The 30-year-old singer, who is also a sound engineer, said he kept pushing and managed to record three songs in 2019 at a professional Mega at Four Studios in Murewa.

“After some serious recordings in 2019 I however, stumbled in marketing the songs until I met Knowledge Maseko and through his Zimbabwe local music association he helped me to submit one of the songs Down The Valley produced by Kelvin Chikaura to different local radio stations,” he said.

Togara said he had gathered enough courage for an album release.

“After those singles I have gathered audacity to record an album that will be dropping soon as we are taking our time working in line with the measures put across to curb the spread of the global COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.

“I have engaged a new producer here in Centenary whom I am going to co-operate with in the production of my debut album since I am also into music production and sound engineering.”

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