The Sunday Mail
United Family International Church founder, Prophet Emmanuel Makandiwa was the inspiration behind the song “Makanaka Jesu”, which has dominated the charts on the radio programme “Star Gospel Greats”.
Star FM’s Leander Kandiero hosts “Star Gospel Greats” every Sunday from 6-8pm.
The song by Pastor Michael Mahendere and the UFIC choir retained pole position last week, and Pastor Mahendere who is one of the church’s music directors acknowledged the influence Prophet Makandiwa has had by providing the choir as a platform for members’ personal projects.
“To be honest what inspired the song and message is through the teaching of the prophet. He is one man who majors in the positive rather than the negative. He is one man who gives people hope and teaches a lot about praising God. And how things are going to be okay.
“As he was teaching that’s when I was inspired to re-arrange the song. And it’s one of his favourite songs. So he would ask me to sing it over and over again when he is preaching,” Pr Mahendere said.
Born in a family of seven with one of the sisters having passed on, Pr Mahendere has produced two albums with his group Direct Worship.
With their other song “Zvichanaka” placed on number five, Pr Mahendere who focuses on worship believes it is their season.
“What happens in music is you are given a season. And what you do determines whether you expire or do not expire.
‘‘So if you can do that with one song I believe the next songs we are going to do have a long life.
“I think I am moving in my purpose because that has always been my dream and vision to just make an impact in the lives of people,” the youngest in the Mahendere family said.
Pr Mahendere was part of the Mahendere Brothers who made waves on the gospel scene in 1997. Now part of the UFIC pastoral team, Pr Mahendere – who grew up in AFM in Zimbabwe – feels he is now serving God more than he ever did before.
“I think everything is being bred in UFIC … We grew in AFM together with prophet.
‘‘We had been close to him until we had to follow him when he started UFIC. For us it’s a calling more than anything else. I believe now we are serving God more.
“I started to discover a lot of things about my life through the prophet. He is the one guiding us.
‘‘And I am not only in the music ministry but in the pastoral team which has so much defined my life than where I was.
‘‘We have discovered so much potential that we had,” the married father of two said.
Pr Mahendere with his group Direct Worship have produced two albums titled “Getting Personal with God Volume 1 and 2”. He is working on the third project.