Some youthful Christian musical groups in Zimbabwe are showing a lot of maturity by venturing into different profitable businesses which have given them survival and growth within the gospel music sector. One such group, the Boys of Thunder, comprised of 20 youthful members mainly from the
Methodist Church in Zimbabwe, is showing phenomenal progress within gospel music through such projects as disco hiring, video filming and editing, bridal steps coaching, selling T-shirts among others.
In an interview, Boys of Thunder secretary- general Dick Mukonori said his group was growing adding that the income-generating projects they were undertaking aimed at funding their music as well as providing income for their group members.
"We are a musical group that is growing. As Boys of Thunder, we do bridal steps coaching and we also make our own wedding dances for those who wish to hire us for their weddings.
"Our other projects include doing wedding photos, video filming and editing, disco hiring and interior decor and designing. We are also aiming to do graphic designing soon," said Dick Mukonori.
He also said Boys of Thunder will in the future establish an academy called the Boys of Thunder Academy, which will train youths mainly from their church different aspects of gospel music.
"The Boys of Thunder Academy that we wish to establish is only a vision that we have as a group. We are yet to develop the idea and also to decide which courses the academy would provide," said Mukonori.
He stressed that Boys of Thunder was mainly driven by the desire to use gospel music to preach the word of God. Mukonori said his group, which is comprised of members whose ages range from 11-32 years, did not rely solely on the proceeds from their album sales and other projects since some of them go to work while others were still at school.
Apart from business, Boys of Thunder has sunk roots in gospel music, managing to record five albums since its inception in 2007. Having begun as members of the Greater Kuwadzana Circuit of the Methodist Church in Zimbabwe, Dick and his friends realised their music calling and decided to form the group Boys of Thunder.
When asked about the meaning of "Boys of Thunder", Dick said his group took its name from the New Testament scripture of Mark 3 verse 17. He said the name
"Boys of Thunder" described the nature of their music which he defined as having the impact of thunder due to its spiritual meaning.
Although some group members, namely Danmore Dembetembe and Tinashe Chisango, dropped out from the group in search of new opportunities in South Africa, the group recorded albums such as "Torumbidza Ishe" and "Taura Mweya" in 2007 while "Pagorokota" was released in 2010.
Currently, Boys of Thunder are sitting on two albums which they released in March this year while their seven-track DVD titled "Pagorokota" -- released in 2011 -- is attracting positive feedback from their fans.
Dick said gospel music gave his group an opportunity as Christian youths to preach the word of God through music.
"In Boys of Thunder, we take music as a way of preaching the word of God. Sometimes we fail to attend church in order to perform in other churches or at funerals where we are invited to perform on numerous occasions," said Mukonori.
So far Boys of Thunder have gained exposure through performing with household names in gospel music such as Pastor and Mai Charamba, Fungisai Zvakavapano-Mashavave and Kudzi Nyakudya.
In May last year, Boys of Thunder were invited to entertain participants at an event titled "The Decade of Action for Road Safety" hosted by Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe at the Harare International Conference Centre.