The Sunday Mail
It is often said records are meant to be broken. This is exactly what is happening at one of the country’s leading radio stations, Star FM.
The Zimpapers-owned station hosts a Sunday evening programme, Gospel Greats Top 20, which is popular with listeners.
The award-winning show — currently being hosted by Yvonne Tivatye — has been running for the past eight years from 6pm to 8pm.
Over the years, only a handful of artistes, namely Michael Mahendere, Janet Manyowa and Reverend Togarepi Chivaviro, have managed to maintain pole position on the charts for four consecutive weeks.
Mahendere and Manyowa jointly share the four-in-a-row record for their efforts “Ndinovimba Nemi” and “Zadzisa”, respectively.
However, Rev Chivaviro, whose monster hit “Ebenezer” led the charts for six consecutive weeks, presently holds the enviable record for dominance.
But it seems that might soon change.
Budding singer and songwriter Everton Mlalazi’s star is rising.
Armed with two singles — “Jesus is the Answer”, a cover of Andrea Crouch’s Song, and “Uyingcwele” — the muso appears to have successfully endeared himself to listeners.
“Uyingcwele” has been topping the gospel charts for five weeks, beating Manyowa and Mahendere’s previous records.
Listeners vote for their favourite songs through text or WhatsApp platforms provided by the station.
Followers of the Sunday programme are eager to see if the new kid on the block will tonight be able to match Rev Chivaviro’s milestone.
“His name is fairly new in the music circles but I like his compositions. He does not act like a novice. He is so composed,” commented one of the Gospel Greats chart followers, Natasha Tsikai.
Speaking in an interview with The Sunday Mail Society, Mlalazi said he was “pleasantly” surprised by the reception of his single.
“I am humbled by the support and the way the song has been received. It has surpassed my expectations.
“That the song has been topping the charts for five weeks means a lot to me, especially because it is competing with the work of other great musicians,” he said.
“It is an honour to be topping such a programme on a respected station in the country.”
“Uyingcwele” was released on June 9 this year.
The soul-massaging track speaks of the holiness of God and his infinite power.
“Covid-19 made people lose jobs and income; lose loved ones, and many people have lost hope and are asking is God still there?
“Yes, Jesus is the answer and God remains God,” said Mlalazi.
Apart from making waves on Star FM, the song is a permanent feature on ZBC-TV.
Similarly, the rising singer has attracted attention across borders.
“Uyingcwele” video is playing on regional television channels such as DStv’s Trace Gospel and One Gospel of South Africa.
The humble singer notes this is just the beginning of a journey of a thousand miles.
“Another single, ‘Ekhaya’, is now ready for release.
“I have started with singles but plans are afoot for the release of a full album by the end of the year.
“I record with Your Sound Studios, and Nigel Nyangombe is my producer,” he revealed.
Mlalazi is married to Gamuchirai and the union is blessed with two kids — Natasha and Keisha.
“My entire family loves music and my two kids (Natasha and Keisha) are taking it seriously. They are serious keyboard and violin students.”