Celebrating female gospel divas

By Colette Musanyera

With the month of March dedicated to celebrate women, we pay tribute to some of the iconic women in the Zimbabwean gospel music industry.

Having started her career as a backing vocalist to her husband Pastor Charles Charamba, she successfully navigate her way to become a celebrated musician who is a recipient of some of the country’s prestigious awards like NAMA and ZIMA.

Although her last Album was in 2017, the “Tengai Mafuta” hitmaker’s music continues to lay footprints in people’s hearts.

Said Mai Charamba: “Gospel music is timeless. The word Of God is timeless, so I believe that is the reason why a lot of people appreciate my music. I also have the best composer, my husband and I believe string compositions make music appeal even a long time after it has been released.”

The revered gospel sensation who looks up to the likes of Dolly Parton and Tasha Cobbs, has a message for fellow female artists who thrive on controversy.

“Controversy does not sell. Our focus as women in music should be on coming up with good music, which is what sells.”

Another gospel musician, Agatha Murudzwa, who launched her music career in 2004, became a household name in 2011 after the release of her album “Press On”, which carries various hits including Makorokoto and Semafashamo.

Murudzwa, who has 13 albums to her name, is a 2012 National Arts Merit Awards nominee.

“I think consistency is what makes a musician stay relevant in the industry. Ever since I ventured into the music industry, I preach the gospel of hope and faith which motivates people. Hard work and consistency are the only ingredients to longevity in the industry,” Murudzwa says.

It will be amiss to leave out Dorcas Moyo, the current darling of gospel music fans, who was recently honoured at the Zimbabwe Music Awards and got nominated for the National Arts Merit Awards.

Says Moyo: “I ventured into the music industry in 2006, but my breakthrough came in 2017 after the release of my album ‘Zvininipise’, which turned the fortunes around. I am so glad about the overwhelming response. Early this year, I was awarded with a ZIMA and I was also nominated for NAMA.”

While it remains a struggle for many artists to get recognition or achieve longevity in the industry, resulting in many sinking into oblivion, these seem to have proved their mettle.