By Steve Ephraem
Harare- BEFORE the 1990s, music genre called gospel in Zimbabwe seemed to be a battle for less than five artistes.
Whenever the name gospel music would be introduced, the distinct artistes who would come to one’s mind were Freedom Semwayo, Mechanic Manyeruke and Jordan Chataika supported by his two sisters.
Although between 1990 and 1995 saw more singers such as Harmony Singers, Brian Sibalo, Utawunashe family, Egea Gospel Train and Christabel just adding to the gospel catalogue, the genre had not set roots.
It was after 1996 that the wave of gospel music took Zimbabwe by the storm. Today, it might be difficult to quantify the number of gospel singers and groups.
To cut it short, gospel music is trading bouts with popular local genres such as all time sungura, ZimDancehall and traditional Chimurenga.
One artiste who has come out of the current crop of gospel artistes is Kudakwashe Chimuka.
Born 22 years ago in Kwekwe, Kuda is now based in Chitungwiza. The youthful artiste is a university student studying Music business, musicology and technology at Midlands State University. Kuda is the leader of a band called Perez family.
Speaking to Post On Sunday, Kuda indicated that making a breakthrough is possible if one humbles himself before God.
“I started doing music at a very young age when I was in Form 2 at Allan Wilson High School in 2013.I started as an instrumentalist playing keyboard. I now play keyboard, bass guitar and drums. I once played for Tapiwa Masara before I went solo in 2018.
“All these years I was humbly submitting myself before God so that I could make a breakthrough. The name of my band, Perez is a biblical one which has something to do with breaking through when no one expects.
“I sing in Shona, English and a bit of Ndebele. My gospel messages come in fused with other genres such as house, afro gospel and pop,” said Kuda.
The singer is making waves in the local charts.
“I thank people who are voting for my music on Top radio charts. I am humbled by my producers Nyasha Timbe, Realbeats and Tinashe Mutandwa. I am releasing a mini album end of April and also a video soon.
“I wish to become a powerful gospel artiste recognised internationally and I want to come up with a type of gospel that covers the majority of aspects that should be covered in gospel.
“My Chimuka family, my mentor Tapiwa Masara and big artistes who have taught me indirectly like Minister Michael Mahendere, Janet Manyowa, Tim Godfrey and my dear sister Sandra Ndebele I say thank you all. Every day I live on this earth, I want someone smile,” added Kuda