Zimbabwe: Zhakata, Mtengwa Collabo Gives Birth to 'Sungu-Gospel'

Arts Reporter

Sungura musician Leonard Karikoga Zhakata, who calls his music Original Rhythms of Africa (ZORA), has appreciated his collaboration with young gospel artiste and founder of Purple Pride Family group Albert Mtengwa, saying the fusion was a unique taste.

Zhakata featured in a new video which was dropped by Mtengwa recently called "Musandikanganwe".

He said he would not regret the collaboration. "I was happy when Albert invited me to the studio and it was my second time to work with producer McDee. I'm so happy he captured my voice as if we had been working together for a long time, mixed it and mustered it so well.

"Everything is going so well, fans are following the video 'Musandikanganwe', so I want to appreciate our supporters for that. Albert Mtengwa is a great visionary and he is grooming a lot of young artists."

The video, which was directed and shot by Hastings Chiromo and Rocklife Media, is now available on all online platforms and is part the Heart of Worship compilation. It is now the fourth single video since the birth of the Heart of Worship compilation project in 2020.

The song was written and produced by MacDonald Chidavaenzi, who is also known as McDee. Zhakata said Mtengwa had been bothering him for the collaboration for quite some time.

"He has always been coming to me requesting a collaboration, I was resisting until the last time he came for this video and I told him that now is the time.

"His idea was to fuse old school musical ideas into a new generation, it's a fusion of different musical ideas."

Zhakata said the choir, Purple Pride Family, was a group determined to aim higher and has members younger that his children. "I was so happy to work with such a family," he said.

In the video, Zhakata puts on his vintage attire which made him popular during yester-year.

Zhakata said the videographer insisted on vintage dressing to capture the essence of the song..

"The time we went for the video, the videographer requested me to put on my vintage attire in order to capture the yester-year memories. I refused at first, but he kept on insisting, then lastly I agreed to make them happy.

"So, the 'Musandikanganwe' project has really made us realise that we have created what some music critics are calling "Sungu-gospel" because we really made sure that the sound was more biased to Zora Music which I have been known for."

Mtengwa formed Purple Pride Family in 2012 with the thrust of nurturing aspiring musicians determined to change the lives of people and exhibiting God's love through worship.

In an interview, Mtengwa said their target was to release 12 singles, but were affected by Covid-19.

"Purple Pride Family is a movement of worshipers from different churches around Zimbabwe and beyond. The choir is working on a project called 'Heart of Worship Compilation'.

"We started releasing singles since last year and all the singles have been released with visuals. Our aim was to finish them in 2020, but due to Covid-19 we didn't finish on time. As the Heart of Worship we were targeting 12 tracks, but so far four tracks have been released, namely 'Jesu Ndiye Hama"' "Tinosimudzira", 'Canaan' and 'Ndimi Zvose.' All these songs are on the Trace Gospel playlist and One Gospel."

Mtengwa said they opted to collaborate with Zhakata, with the thrust to fuse old school into gospel.

"This year we then decided to do a collaboration with a legend, Leonard Karikoga Zhakata, and this track is titled Musandikanganwe in order to create sungu-gospel as our fans call it," said Mtengwa

"As Purple Pride Family, we now embark on giving our audience something different and our future plans are to have a Live DVD recording which we promise to be of a unique approach in all aspects."

Mtengwa said the response to the project was overwhelming.

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