By Jeffrey Muvundusi – UNITED KINGDOM based gospel singer Mthulisi Dube has challenged aspiring gospel musicians not to go into into the industry expecting much in terms of finance as they are bound to be disappointed.
Dube who is originally from Matobo district in Matabeleland South province believes that singing gospel music should go beyond a talent arguing that it should be more of a calling from above where one’s duty becomes purely to spread the word of God through music.
Shout-Africa.com reporter caught up with chubby Dube who was in the country to officially unveil his three albums he had separately done while in exile for a good solid decade.
“While I understand that musicians take gospel music differently, I also believe that as much as gospel music is all about preaching the word of God, one has to be called in a way or else has to have a deep passion of being a music evangelist,” he said.
“I think aspiring artists must be told that if you go into the gospel industry with a sole intention of irking a living out of it, one risk being disappointed because this is a profession where the Word comes first. Then the rest follows.
“As for me it’s something that comes from deep down my heart. In other words it’s as good as a calling and as a result I am His servant,” Dube proudly said.
The 44 year old Dube who says he is enthused by the prowess of South African gospel music giant Derrick Nzimande believes something should be done to revive the apparently waning gospel genre in the City of Kings.
“It is my hope that these products I have brought home will certainly help spruce up the gospel genre in the city. It’s been long we are not hearing much of gospel music from Bulawayo. You cannot believe that this is the place where we had the likes of Freedom Sengwayo, we really need more of his caliber,” said the artists whose music is a fusion of Afro Jazz and Soul.
The self exiled Dube who left the country at the height of political and economic instability way back in 2002 has three gospel albums under his belt which were all recorded at Sony Studios in the UK.
The albums which were done in both English and Ndebele include his eight track debut in 2003 Isinqumo, Uhlala ekhona (2005) and Wenzani Na? of 2010.
Dube’s recent return ever since he left the country saw him managing to take his products to ZBC where the music according to him is expected to be played for the first time on the local airwaves this following week.
While his name is virtually new in the domestic scene, he is no new comer as he has been a member of one of the oldest gospel groups in the city, Loving Brothers. Though the group has never been that popular in the industry, they have a couple of recorded albums most of which were done from the late eighties up until late nineties.
According to him the Lobengula based loving Brothers is the group that groomed him up until he decided to go solo immediately after he left the country.
While in the UK Dube said he was prividged to share the stage with Nzimande and one of Swaziland‘s top gospel musician Francis Dlamini. “While I have been receiving remarkable support from fellow Zimbabweans in the Diaspora whenever I hold my live shows, the interesting moments were when I performed alongside Francis Dlamini and Derrick Nzimande and they really liked my music.”
He said some of the potentially soul searching tracks people should look up to from the albums include We celebrate, Amehlo, I am happy I know, Daniel Esiphambanweni among others.
The artists also said he was already working on a DVD that will comprise some tracks that will be picked from the three albums.