From 2009 when Kirk Franklin collaborated with R Kelly and Mary J Blige on “Lean On Me” to 2017 when Tasha Cobbs Leonard teamed up with Nicki Minaj “I’m Getting Ready”, many people have been uneasy with gospel and secular musicians sharing the mic.
Some Christians point to 2 Corinthians 6:14-18, which reads, “Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? What accord has Christ with Belial?
“Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever? What agreement has the temple of the living God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said, ‘I will make dwelling among them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
“Therefore, go out from their midst, and be separate from them, says the Lord, and touch no unclean thing; then I will welcome you, and I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me, says the Lord Almighty’.”
In Zimbabwe, we have seen Fungisai collaborating with Killer T, and Kudzi Nyakudya courting rhumba singer Madhiz.
Latest on the list is “Ridza Bhosvo” hit-maker Sabastian Magacha, who dropped a new 14-track album titled “Wonererwai Jesu” at Theatre In The Park, Harare last week.
On this project, Saba is known by fans collaborating with Jah Prayzah and Alick Macheso on the songs “Mweya Mutsvene Nditakure” and “Maria na Marita” respectively.
Though the two tracks carry powerful messages, there are some fans who feel this is oil and water stuff.
Saba responds, “The Bible tells me in Matthew 5:13-16 that I am the salt and light of the Earth. It clearly stipulates that when the lamp is lit it is not put under a bowl but placed on stand so that it gives light to all.
“So by collaborating with these secular counterparts of mine, I am basically positioning myself for the whole world to hear the message I have. And this will ultimately lead to winning of souls to Christ Jesus.”
Magacha uses another scriptural reference to buttress his point.
“The same Bible also tells me in Matthew 4:19 that I am a fisher of men. This speaks again of soul winning. I cannot win souls in church because the majority, if not all people, in the church are born-again believers. By working with secular artistes, I can win them over to Christ Jesus.
“Also, I cannot play in some of the places that these artistes play such as bars and mega secular festivals. So when Macheso or Jah decide to sing the song we did at their shows, the message of Christ will be spreading to all corners of the world.”
Magacha also worked on a track dedicated to all mothers with jazz vocalist Prudence Katomeni-Mbofana.
“On this track I was thanking all mothers for the critical role they play in this world and in the lives of their children. I strongly believe that after God’s love nothing compares to a mother’s love. That’s why I had to sing the song Mama My Hero on which I featured Prudence.”
Magacha’s new album is available on flash drive for a whooping US$50.
Why such a high price?
“In a bid to curb piracy we have our music stored on a flash disk that is branded and is lockable. When one buys the flash, the music will only be accessible to them as they will be using a secret code. People can also use the disk to store their other personal files.
“We are selling it at US$50 because there is also a business side to it. Those that see value in our music are buying the discs.”
But the market has simply not forked out the big bucks and now Saba is also selling the album for US$1 on CD.
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