I wanted to join security forces — Charamba

HARARE - Gospel music star Pastor Charles Charamba says he grew up loving music; hence he has been wired to sing as it is the main purpose of his existence.

Charamba who studied for four years to attain a Degree in Theology from 1998 to 2001 initially wanted to be a member of the security forces, particularly a private investigating officer.

“I also dreamt of being a Radio presenter,” he says.

In an exclusive interview with the Daily News on Sunday, Charamba said he started fearing God at a tender age although there was not much gospel music to listen to those days.

“I did not see myself zeroing in on gospel music until the morning of Saturday, December 19, 1992 when while at church God revealed to me that He was commissioning me as a minister of music. I have been called to call others,” said Charamba.

The gospel star said music was his calling as he specialises in several ministering facets among them teaching on music, preaching and writing, acting.

“But music is the major reason for my being. I am happy to sing for God. What I like with gospel music is that it is unassuming: I shall sing the song Machira Chete or Mutsvene Mutsvene in heaven. It allows me to entertain people, save souls; I am also ministered to while singing. The same music is my prayer line and it caters for my upkeep.”

Charamba who is inspired by his parents, late sister Getrude and Zimbabwe music legends whom he used to watch on bioscope during childhood is married to Olivia, popularly referred to as Amai Charamba and they are blessed with five children namely; Shalom Anesu 16, Eternity Nenyasha 12,

Tagamuchira Loyalty 10, who are girls and the duo of sons called Timukudze Isaac 6, and Aveneni Beloved 3.

“I and Amai Charamba are currently associate Pastors at AFM Ebenezer in Borrowdale and we minister in word at the Church. We also sing at church conferences when time allows,” said Charamba.       

The gospel star said he met Amai Charamba at AFM St Mary’s, Chitungwiza when she had just relocated from Gweru.

“I had always prayed for a supportive spouse and I realised she could make the ideal partner I had always hoped for.

“I had an idea of the popularity I was going to attain in my musical journey and I resolved that I needed to put a seal on my marital status before breaking into fame.

“In life a spouse can fall in love with your fame instead of you, hence my decision to avoid it before time. She possessed most of the qualities I expected from a prospective wife.

“I prayed about my perception of her and the Holy Spirit confirmed she was the right one for me,” said Charamba.

He added that he liked Amai Charamba’s interest for music, “her humble background, love for God, her charisma as well as her looks. She is as beautiful to date.”

The power couple were appointed Traffic Safety Ambassadors in 2012.

“Our main preoccupation is raising awareness on matters to do with traffic safety.

“We have sung about such matters and we are going to release other songs on the subject soon. We occasionally partner the Traffic Council of Zimbabwe in a number of activities.”

Charamba said gospel music is sacred and derives its thrust from the sacrificial life of Jesus, so the couple finds no justice to ignore the communities whom He died for.

“Right conscience would not allow a gospel musician to be extravagant.  We have lost count of the fundraising projects we have been involved in.

"They include a house we built in Manhinga Village, tuition fees for less privileged children, building of infrastructure in churches as well as issuing of musical instruments.

"Biggie Tembo Jnr, Hatcliffe North AFM and Masarakufa School are some of the recipients of public address systems we donated. We work with any good-willed organisations as long as their objectives are legal and human-hearted."

He said since his entry into Gospel music is a calling, and as such they do not have envisage retirement.

“We wish to give back to the community by mentoring young artistes in a more formal way. We will also collaborate with others as we have now created an identity that is more conspicuous.”

While it has been a while since the gospel power couple released new albums; Pashoko Pangoma in 2010 and Mai Charamba’s DVD of The Gospel released in 2009.

“We will release music in a more frequent way than what we did of late. The band and ourselves will continue to engage capacity building programmes so as to adapt to the prevailing trends as well as ensuring sustainability, longevity, and relevance.”

With the growth of piracy, Charamba said statistics are hardly be compiled to determine the most selling of his album releases.

“Nearly all of my albums have sold over a hundred thousand copies within the year of release. All of them assume different thematic characters and their impact is almost the same. Collectively, we seem to have sold over two million copies.”

Charamba said songs are very tricky creations as compositions can suffice in an hour, a day, a month or even longer.

“That is the case with me; I can finish composing anytime depending on the mood and setting. Experience has however, taught me that a song is never complete until it is recorded and mastered.”

The gospel star added that it is possible to release new songs more frequently and this depends with individual artiste.

“However, it is my humble submission that pure honey cannot be a daily dish unless it is a medical requirement. No bee can provide honey on a daily basis.

“A good composer, in my view takes their time to issue out releases if they are to be consistent, quality-wise. But, there are no strict rules in music release schedules, anything is possible.”

He says his music is not out rightly sungura. 

“I am more of a ballad singer than anyone else as I incorporate a great amount of Jazz, and other styles like reggae in my compositions.

“I deliberately infuse sungura elements in certain songs because I have respect for my local fans. It is my humble assumption that 90 percent of Zimbabweans are sungura in their musical DNA.”

Charamba said in Zimbabwe sungura is as good as what rice is to the people of Taiwan, musically, and what Samba is to Brazillians.

Sungura is no longer a style to shun, it is part of our musical culture and I am prepared to perpetuate that aspect of our culture including other beats like mhande and mbakumba.

“My songs like Buruka, Mhinduro Iripo, Makabatei and Sarudzai are hardly close to that genre except of the chords which are common.”

He said the band’s name; Fishers of Men came as a directive from the Holy Spirit in August 1994.

“Originally we were known as the Chosen Brothers, which later changed to Chosen Messengers upon realising that we were now joined by a girls’ trio. ‘Fishers of Men’ is the designation of the apostles as proclaimed by Jesus and it depicts soul winning, which is the major thrust of my wife and our music.”

Fishers of Men comprises of full-timers while the other grouping includes members who participate on part time bases.

“Michael Anatori, a lead guitarist is the longest serving, having joined in 2000. Unfortunately, about four members belonging to the first generation have passed on.

“Other current members include Victor Paulos — guitar, Darlington Kamuchanyu — bass, Tatenda Masimo — drums, and a recent graduate Joshua Pereira Jasi. Beverly Chenera and Kudzaishe Lindiwe Marimo are back vocalists. Other members include Lyton Saizi, Gloria Gasani Collen Chipomho among others.”

Comments (1)

Keep on keeping on my brother.Great is your reward for the good labour for The Lord that you and your wife are doing.

Charles Masunungure - 4 August 2014

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