Zimbabwe: 'Wanqoba' an Absorbing Burst of Oomph

Tafadzwa Zimoyo recently in Bulawayo

Gospel music singer Janet Manyowa combined some of the local and regional greatest gospel musicians for one of her most scintillating concerts at the ZITF Hall 3 in Bulawayo over the weekend, where she recorded a live DVD.

The concert was dubbed "Wanqoba -- Unbeatable".

On the first set, blue was Janet's theme colour, from the band members to herself, they were all clad in blue suits.

In this way, she did not disappoint on fashion and stage presentation.

Of course, her hosts, radio personalities Rebecca Muchenje, affectionately known as Becky K on ZiFM and Donna Ncube of Skyz Metro FM, not only followed the dress code, but also sailed flawlessly during their segment.

Indeed, it was a show of girl power.

According to Janet's music director, Mark Madzinga, who doubles as the producer on all her live shows, it was the first time for her to record a live DVD.

He said Bulawayo was lucky to host such a feat -- the recording of her fourth album, "Father's House", which is set for release sometime in September.

On stage, Janet displayed her prowess in vocals.

"You know this is a blessed day because I am happy that my pastor, Bonnie Deuschle, is around and let me introduce her to you all," said Janet while inviting the veteran gospel musician on stage.

"She will join me on stage as we sing together."

The duo put up a splendid performance as they sang "Blessed be your name", which is on Janet's forthcoming album.

The ZITF auditorium was fully packed, as gospel music fans danced, ululated, clapped and shouted in praise.

All of them followed the script from the VVIP and VIP seating areas to the general platforms.

After she was done with the 'blues' for the live DVD recording, Janet changed the costume to white and orange, to the excitement of the fans.

This time around it was much of a gig celebration as she belted out her hit tunes.

The "Wanqoba line-up included local popular gospel musicians such as Takesure Zamar, Minister Michael Mahendere, Ntokozo Mbambo, Pastor Deuschle, Pastor G, Harvest House and Wenyasha.

All the musicians performed sets heavy on dancing, spectacle, worship and praise.

It was like a Coachella and hopefully Janet can consider hosting one because from the stage setting, lighting and good sound system, courtesy of Events Evolution, the set up was of international standards.

The show was also streamed live by Gateway Stream Music.

Comments could be seen on the platform from fans watching from as far away as Dubai, South Africa, Nigeria, United Kingdom, United States and, of course, parts of Zimbabwe.

Janet performed "Zadzisa", which proved to be the crowd's favourite.

She then sang just one-line of Minister Mahendere's popular "Makanaka Jesu", driving fans into a frenzy.

Minister Mahendere, the gospel giant, then joined Janet, as he took over the centre stage.

Truly, there are few music stars one can bank on as Minister Mahendere, his presentation is always on point.

It was not surprising that his performance was full of energy, electrifying and magnificent, as he has become known for, leaving crowds breathless.

Minister Mahendere performed two songs before Janet came back to conclude her set.

Together, Minister Mahendere and Janet have defied talk that gospel music was dying, had no influence and that it is music for the destitute.

The pair has messages that resonate well with the people and are quite aware that communication with the fans is vital.

Janet then concluded her set with "Vaudze", which is her latest offering to the jovial crowd.

Pastor G brought the yesteryear gospel feel as he dished out songs from his early albums, including his new single "Mirira".

The gospel music guru, who has notably shed some weight, showed the crowd that music and dance were still in him.

He wiggled and the crowd responded with applause.

Kwazulu-Natal born, Mbambo, made sure her presence was felt on stage.

Of course, representing the girl child, she also belted her hits such as "Jehovah Is Your Name" making sure the "Holy Spirit" was present.

Harvest Music Choir, Vocal Ex, Wenyasha, Mai Mwamuka and Snowy performances had excellent performances, indicating the future of gospel music is safe.

Now it was time for the last act, the much-awaited Takesure Zamar.

With his husky voice, he started singing from backstage, raising more excitement among the fans.

Zamar took to the stage donning a cream jacket, black shirt and jeans, matching his band theme.

"Agere pachigaro... ," he chanted, putting the crowd in a worship mood.

Zamar proved to be the right candidate to close the show, as people wanted those "holy" moments, to be prayed for and walk away in grace.

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