A decade of ZimPraise

Desire Ncube —
IT IS often said that success might be easy to gain but is more difficult to maintain. For contemporary inter-denominational gospel music outfit — ZimPraise, their 10-year musical journey has been a reflection of success.

Formed in 2006, ZimPraise is a brainchild of MacDonald Chidavaenzi, Joseph Madziyire and Garikai Ndanga.

In April 2014, ZimPraise Trust was dissolved and the group was left in the hands of Madziyire. Since its formation, the choir has been on a steady expansion drive, collecting awards and producing numerous live DVDs along the way.

The group bagged accolades which include Zimbabwe Music and Arts Awards’ Touring Act of the year 2014 as well as the Permican’s Best Live DVD 2014, Best Group or Duo of the year 2015 and Zimbabwe Youth Achievers Awards’ Best Gospel Artiste in the same year.

Also in their awards cabinet is the Courageous Gospel Awards’ Best Group (2015), Victors Awards’ Best Group (2015), Megafest Top 20 Most Outstanding Brands (2013) and Zimbabwe Achievers Awards International Gospel music artiste of the year (2015), among others.

Like any other organisation, the 130 member gospel outfit has faced its fair share of challenges ranging from an exodus of group members to administrative and financial problems.

However, the exodus of key choir members who have gone ahead to pursue successful solo projects is an indication of the talent within the group.

Among these include Kuda Mutsvene, Marbel Madondo, Primrose Njewa and Wencilus “Mpostori Wency” Makungisa.

After leaving ZimPraise, Madondo released her 13-track album titled “Fair and Just” and also formed a 50-member choir named Thousand Voices. However, the group crumbled.

On the other hand, Mutsvene recorded his debut album “Chirangano” while choir director Wellington Kwenda, although still with the group, has his own production.

Kwenda last year released his solo seven-track album titled “Passion of Praise”.

Patience Masiyambiri –Mandizha, Ellard Cherai and Sharon Manyonganise have also pioneered their solo projects.

Last week when ZimPraise launched “The Pentecost” live DVD Season 9 in Harare, Madziyire said their 10-year musical journey was not a stroll in the park. “Though success in life is a relative term and could vary greatly from one person to another, being able to fulfil dreams, ambitions and to be recognised among people is a common definition that can be attached to the term,” he said.

“You are witnessing an idea that came from God. He has been working in our camp. As Zimpraise, we cannot give ourselves credit on that. There are times when we feel pressed on both sides, times when you see that things are not moving. But in all that we saw the hand of God.

“Tonight is a celebration of a journey. Ten years is not a joke, we have reached this milestone achievement because we believe in God and He has enabled us to stand the test of time,” Madziyire said.

He added, “My father (Reverend Aspher Madziyire, Apostolic Faith Mission in Zimbabwe president), told me that time is the revealer of all things, and indeed it is true.

“I want to give credit to everyone who shared this vision with me and made it come to life. There is no ZimPraise without you,” he said.

“Being successful does not mean that we can then stop and enjoy. It opens new possibilities and responsibilities and to reach the next level, we need to work harder,” Madziyire added.

The choir has in the past ministered at various schools, universities, and churches.

ZimPraise albums and recordings include “2007 Season 1”, “2008 Season 2”, “2011 Season 3 Live DVD Launch”, “2012 Season 4 Live DVD Launch” and “2013 Season 5 Live DVD Launch”.

The choir also recorded “Hymns 1, 2 and 3” between 2014 and 2016. They have also toured the UK, USA, Australia and Canada.

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