Acapella group unveils secret behind its success

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The Unveiled

BY AGATHA CHUMA

RISING a capella gospel group, The Unveiled was unknown to many until recently when they were unveiled as part of the country’s representatives at the Africa’s top unsigned a capella talents search, the Old Mutual Amazing Voices Season 2 singing competition in South Africa.

Together with a Bulawayo-based group, Effect, The Unveiled raised the country’s flag high at the competition.

When Effect bowed out from the competition after landing the fourth position, The Unveiled remained in Mzansi and went on to reach the competition’s finals where they fell at the last hurdle to South African group Hush SA.

The group had given a good account of itself at the competition that was sponsored to the tune of US$100 000.

Formed about two years ago, The Unveiled is made up of eight members (four women and four men). The Harare-based group was formed by Joseph Mtima.

The other group members are Kudzai Sachikonye (Soprano), Charmane Chinowaita (alto), Brandon Japajapa (tenor), Owen Kabasa (tenor), Orion Mtima (alto/soprano), Salem Mtima (soprano), Gift Zinyau (alto) and Ashley Mapfumo (tenor/alto).

NewsDay Weekender caught up with the group’s spokesperson Ashley Mapfumo, who described their journey as tiresome, thrilling, mixed with ups and downs, but still worth it and he highlighted some of their achievements and challenges.

Birth of The Unveiled

“The group started as an idea. Joshua Mtima and his two sisters Orion and Salem were always singing together, but never really thought of forming a group.

“In November 2020, there was a call to audition for Old Mutual Amazing Voices (OMAV) talent search and Joshua then invited other people he knew could sing, bringing the number to 13. However, the competition rules required only eight members and we had to drop some members. This is how our musical journey started as The Unveiled.”

The inspiration

“The desire to use our talents to inspire, touch and change lives, especially those of young people through music stirred us to form the group.

“The inspiration was also to unveil the creative talents that the world did not know exist in Zimbabwe.

“We are all from Harare, so we utilise the weekends to accommodate every member since during the week, some will be at work.

“Nevertheless, sometimes it will be tricky because some members will be attending classes at their respective schools during weekends while others will be at work again, making it difficult for us to meet some of the weekends.”

Memorable performance

“Well, we have not performed much in Zimbabwe, but the limited performances we have staged are all significant to us as they contributed to the publicising of our brand.

“We were part of A Night of Thanksgiving hosted by Janet Manyowa and the Nama performance all make our performances memorable.”

Achievements

“Our achievements so far include reaching the finals of the Old Mutual Amazing Voices and also sharing the stage with the amazing gospel artiste Janet Manyowa.

“We have managed to record two songs which will be released this year and our recent performance at the National Arts Merit Awards can also be counted as one of our biggest successes since the genesis of our journey.”

Projects in store

“There is a video that we have been working on for six months now. It has been put on hold due to shortage of funds, but we are working hard so that we drop it as soon as possible.

“We have approached some corporates and individuals for assistance and I am sure very soon all will be in place.

“As a way to raise funds for the video production, we are selling different merchandise and also saving from our live performances. This prolonged project must be finished.

“We also have planned collaborations with some artists whom I cannot name at the moment as we are still in negotiations, but definitely the collaborations are on the way.”

Soothing

“As a prayerful group, we usually approach God for guidance and to help us to follow the right path. We also play games just to create a stress relieving environment.”

“Sometimes we do socials, visit children’s homes and attend other artistes’ performances. Very soon we will be spending time training people in different worship teams.”

Desires

“Our desire is to set up our own studio which will be open to young talented artistes who may be struggling for studio fees. We also want to take our music beyond the borders through tours and releasing multiple albums.”

Message to aspiring musicians

“We encourage aspiring music groups to keep pushing, to not limit their creativity, to experiment, make mistakes, learn from them and keep moving. They must also build networks and connections with other artistes, it is important.”

  • Follow Agatha on Twitter @AgathaChuma