Gospel star Mudiwa bares all

HARARE - Colourful Christian hip-hop artiste Mudiwa Mutandwa has courted controversy and publicity more than any other gospel artiste ever since he burst onto the Zimbabwe music scene.

Mudiwa has been in the music industry for quite a while now but got into the limelight last year when he released his album Magnet which carries the popular song, Ndaita Mari.

The Daily News on Sunday’s Sharon Muguwu recently interviewed the artiste who seems to enjoy being in the public eye.

Below are excerpts of the wide-ranging interview:

DNS-How did you get your big break in the world of gospel music?

MM-It all started in 2008 when Prophet Angel ministered to me. After that he opened a recording label Demon Proof Records through which I released my first album Jesu Anodadisa, and since then there has been no stopping for me.

DNS –Can you recount the challenges you have faced and your triumphs?

MM-I cannot really say I have had challenges because God has paved the way for me. My one challenge is being mistaken for an entertainer, but I do however, have lots of triumphs which include mega sales of my album Magnet; the many great shows I had in Zimbabwe in 2012; the three awards I managed to bag in one year alone; my recent tour of UK which resulted in me meeting legends like Betty Makoni who is a CNN heroine and recording my new video in UK which is now on YouTube. The list of triumphs is endless.

DNS-Given that hip-hop as a music genre evokes mixed feelings among Christians, why did you choose to fuse gospel music with hip-hop?

MM-God sent me through hip-hop because he is doing something different and unique — I would best describe Mudiwa that way, all about Jesus, that’s my story.

Also with all that has been going around on Internet about hip-hop music being associated with unholy practices I decided that we as Christians should redeem hip-hop (which was leading many youths astray) and make it Godly promoting a cultured Christian youth.

Hip-hop is a genre cultured to give a testimony of one’s experiences in life, so when I sing I am simply giving a testimony of what the Lord has done in my life but with the backing of a tune.

The devil stole our music so we are taking it back.

DNS-How has the response to your music been, in general?

MM-The response has been tremendous. I did not expect such a great response from various age groups in the society.

Many people love my music, and my tracks have been doing great on the local radio station charts.

Seven tracks on my album have all been number one at one time or the other. My hit song, Ndaita Mari was voted song of the year on Power FM gospel chart show and this is something I honestly did not expect.

Because of my music, I’ve been to shows, dinners, weddings and many church programmes nationwide as well as abroad. In 2012 alone, I met the who is who, and even businessman Phillip Chiyangwa gave me a residential stand worth $8 000 in exchange for my cd, yeah wow! I know.

DNS-Many have commented on the message in your music, stating that it is too focused on prosperity - what is your response?

MM-When I sing my songs I am confessing and testifying the goodness of the Lord in life. The word of God says he has made us kings and priests in Revelations 1:6. We are a chosen generation as explained in 1 Peter 2:9, Matthew 6:33, job 22:22-29,that is what I sing about in my songs.

We are the sons of God as the new creation in Christ Jesus and nothing is impossible unto us.

I have never once read the Bible where a prophet or man of God was broke or poor they were all very rich why then should poverty be associated with men of God in our days.

Rev 12vs11 says they overcame the devil by the word of their testimony.

DNS-What are your thoughts on prosperity preachers, particularly those who preach prosperity, but many in their congregation are suffering from poverty?

MM-There is only one gospel, the gospel of Jesus Christ, so to me what people would like to term as “prosperity gospel” is non-existent.

What men of God who preach about prosperity are simply trying to do is teach their brethren that it is not in God’s plan for His children to suffer as stated in Jeremiah 29:11, Phillipians 4:19 and I believe strongly when they refer to “prospering or prosperity” they are referring to a state where all things pertaining to your life are at a level which satisfies you that is health, finances, family, happiness and most of all your relationship with God.

The reason why many people are still suffering is because they have not yet believed what God has already done for them (Hebrews 11) having faith that God has done it is a matter of conviction 2 Corinthians 4:18.

The bible adds on that my people perish because they lack knowledge.

DNS-What role should the church play in today’s world?

MM-The role of the church is still the same as it has always been reconciling.

The world unto God just as Christ has reconciled us unto the Father and spreading God’s love and nature throughout the world promoting peace and happiness in an environment that pleases God as it was in the beginning in the Garden of Eden.

To empower each other and so on.

DNS-What should be the role of gospel music in today’s world? What will you like to see changed in the gospel music industry?

MM-From my point of view, the role of gospel music should be to minister the word of God and the realities of what the word does in our lives, to give praise and to worship God and most importantly to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

What has always been a thorn in my heart is how most gospel musicians are not united; we are all part of one body which is the body of Christ so I feel we should be united because we are fighting on the same side; the same battle against one common enemy, the devil.

I would love to see gospel musicians becoming one team, being united and supporting each other even though our genres and churches are different.

DNS-Beyond music, we know that you are the current face of Oceane collection perfumes, how did that come about?

MM-Wow I was overwhelmed I can’t begin to explain it, but all I can say is I believe it was a divine appointment, being in the right place at the right time and the Grace of God located me.

The Oceane Collection is a company also founded on the same principles as my music in that they are a Christian-oriented firm, so they thought I would best suit their brand.

In fact, I have other endorsement deals and they are, 4May Boutique and Goldtech Electronics.

DNS-What are some of the perks that come from being in the limelight? How do you differentiate those who are for you and the fake ones?

MM-Being in the limelight makes you gain respect from society especially those who appreciate my gift.

So I get to meet people who as a little boy I would have never imagined I would deal with in life.

It’s difficult to know who is real and who is just there to take but one thing that comforts me is that I have plenty to go around I won’t lose anything to those who want to take from me because when something is taken, it’s another opportunity for God to bless me. He daily loads me with benefits.

But I have established the people who are real those who stand by me even when things seem as though they aren’t so rosy.

DNS-How do you draw the balance between your personal and your public lives?

MM-Hahahaha wow! I love my fans and they are my other family so sometimes I involve them in my personal life. I  keep them updated on stuff and communicate with them via face-book and twitter.

But, when I’m off stage, I’m just Mudiwa and I go about my life like every normal person.

Even when I’m in public, I don’t put up a fake act and act the celebrity.   

I’m only a star when I’m on stage when I’m off stage I’m Mudiwa.

DNS-What’s your favourite song from your latest CD?

MM-It’s hard to pick — I love them all but I will have to say Ndaita Mari.

DNS-Which musician inspires your work?

MM-Before I started singing gospel I was inspired by P Diddy but now, Kirk Franklin does it for me.

Although our music is a little different but I love the way he has control over the crowd.

DNS-What do you do to get yourself ready for stage?

MM-I meditate, speak in tongues, I pray and get on the stage.

DNS-Tell us something that will surprise us about you?

MM-I have a BSc hons Economics, Master’s in Psychology, MBA in Finance first class.

Yeah, and I graduated as the best student.

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