Music icon Oliver Tuku Mtukudzi who is also deemed as a social evangelist due to his music which replete with inspirational messages that touch different societal issues is this year’s main headliner of the annual Gwanda Gospel Festival.
“This year we have invited Oliver Mtukudzi, our own Gwanda songstress Judith among an array of musicians who are billed to perform on the weekend of September 1-3 2017,” said Festival founder and sponsor Justice Maphosa.
Last year, the Gwanda Gospel Festival used Tuku’s soulful song ‘Hear Me Lord (I Am Feeling Low)’ as the signature tune during the three-day concert.
The fact that Tuku has made a mark in his long career mostly on the back of music not synonymous with gospel was never a subject.
The Hear Me Lord meaning and deep thought-provoking messages did not escape Maphosa, whose Bigtime Strategic Group, decided that the lanky musician would be the main act for this year’s gospel music jamboree.
“Tuku’s song is part of the reason why we have billed him to perform as the headline act, showing that he is not only in that genre but that he is indeed a Christian in his mind and heart,” added Maphosa.
“It comes across like that. And if you ask him, the way he explains it in that song he says all of us go through trials and tribulations, at that point you realise that this is a meeting (GGF), an appointment with God.
“You understand that everybody, whether you are in mbira, rhumba, kwaito or whatever kind of genre, deep down in your heart it’s printed all people need God much more when they hit trouble and we are saying let’s not wait for that time to need God when we hit trouble,” said Maphosa.
Since the festival launch in 2015, it has attracted the interest of both Gwanda residents and diverse Zimbabweans drawn from different provinces.
And the Bigtime Strategic Group founder has been encouraged by the heartening increase in the number of people who have attended the last two editions.
Maphosa wants to make Gwanda a religious tower attracting the saved and those from the world, as part of fulfilling the long held desire of uniting people through song and dance in the town he grew up in.
“We want Gwanda to be the altar for the whole of Zimbabwe where everyone converges for free hence bringing the best instruments, the best fireworks and the best musicians across the genres.
“We are trying to say for those people like Tolakele, Nkiwane and Judith all from Gwanda where else will they be seen by 30 to 40 000 people? Where else will they be seen on national television by millions of people? The answer is nowhere.
“So we are providing an opportunity where every child of God comes to this altar. We don’t care where you come from. You get in for free and you worship our very same own God who is for all of us,” said Maphosa.