“Two gospel giants, one hit track.” Zimgospel Masters
Tembalami, Janet Manyowa’s “Mbiri” finally out.
Wednesday the 26th marked a historical moment in the history of Gospel music in Zimbabwe when Tembalami and Janet Manyowa launched their track “Mbiri.” Reviewing this as any other musical event will definitely do the structuring an injustice so I’ma step out of my critic shoes and get right personal with it.
There is order and in our Shona language a certain level of “kurongeka” (which loosely means diligence) but what Tembalami managed to pull off was beyond measurable standards in line with Gospel music single song launches in Zimbabwe to date. Starting with the venue, Ster Kinekor, Sam Levy’s village and the entire structure of the program, it was just on point. One slight mishap was in the late start of the event which made SK start playing a movie right at the height of the moment.
When the video was finally presented, the quietness of the room was almost palpable. I was personally gripped by the emotion and spirituality of the script and cast, it ceased to be a song but more of a movie unfolding right in front of our eyes as if we were all a part of the cast. When it ended, the momentary freeze erupted in an uproar and a standing ovation and the cries for an encore were very much in order.
It may be hard to believe when producer McDee Chidavaenzi explained that the whole project came to fruition in under a month. Janet Manyowa laughed when she recalled how Tembalami had once approached her for a collaboration almost 13 years back and dismissed him, with no clue she would even be a musician of note in Zimbabwe. “I was like, is this dude serious,” says a chuckling Janet. Today they have collaborated on a track that has been well received both on the local radio airwaves and in the public domain on digital platforms.
‘Mbiri ‘ is a track that speaks of the goodness and glory of God. From a young man who had mixed up with the wrong group in a heist that went sour up to the time he gets help from a church Priest during a choir session. He looks back on his life and the rewind effect is phenomenal with lighting and a good rendering of space manipulation, the video is set to transcend some geographical barriers.
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