Award-winning gospel artiste Blessing Shumba has bemoaned the state of the local arts industry and said his 2019 resolution is to push government to intervene and improve the sector which is on ‘deathbed’.
Shumba has joined the chorus of so many other artistes all over the nation who believe that if the arts industry is to grow, more attention needs to be paid towards the sector. According to the celebrated musician, the local gospel music scene is also in serious need of a ‘revival’.
“We need our own people and the relevant authorities to take the arts sector seriously. There is no reason why we cannot do something about such perennial issues like piracy, we need to nip it in the bud sooner rather than later.
“Let us come together and do all we can to revive our gospel music industry, from where I stand, that includes resuscitating sleeping giants like ZMC (Zimbabwe Music Corporation), RTP (Record and Tape Promotions),” he said.
The Mutare-based singer also bemoaned the lack of standout gospel events that used to light up the scene back in the old days.
“Aside from lacking standout performers, maybe due to lack of sponsors, we also lack the big events, you know, the likes of Nguva Yakwana etc. We don’t really have anything on the calendar right now to speak of”, said Shumba while speaking on the sidelines of announcing his brand new offering titled ‘Ndiweya’ that is slated for release in 2019.
The new album is a follow-up to his May 2017 release titled ‘My Season’ that did relatively well for the talented musician and kept him in the hearts and minds of many gospel music lovers.
Those same music lovers will surely not be disappointed this time around either as the artist promised a work of art that will be filled with hope and deep worship songs.
“As is the norm with the Psalmist, we have shortlisted 30 songs from the big list of recorded songs, we hope to give out 8 or so tracks on the new album.
“The promise of the Holy Spirit was made by Jesus to equip his followers to face ministry related challenges as well as being able to face their tomorrow with conviction… he is our helper… thus the album seeks to define/illustrate the Holy Spirit, his role and how you can experience ‘dunamis’, his power,” explained Shumba.
“We hope to give our fans the real taste of the Psalmist, and thus the album explores such themes as the Holy Spirit, hope, and deep worship, to mention but a few“, he added.
Apart from mesmerising the nation with his voice and preaching the Word of God, Shumba is also an ambassador for the Manicaland Blood Services Zimbabwe (MBSZ) and is occasionally joined by a whole host of other musicians in the drive towards encouraging a culture of donating blood.
Notably, in 2012, the singer did a collaboration album with Mutare Remand Prison inmates and prison officers. He lent his producing skills as well as his amazing vocals to the project that comprised of 16 inmates and 8 prison officers.
His previous releases include Ishe Wazvose (2009), Anoita Minana, Ndimwari (Voted ‘Outstanding Album’ at the 2012 National Arts Merit Awards) and Shongwe (2012)