Samuel Kadungure :Entertainment Reporter
TWO minds are better than one.With the talk of music collaborations involving legendary songwriters and producers, Sipho Makhabane, Pastor Charles Charamba, Mechanic Manyeruke and Zim Praise this should certainly open doors for completely new and unique ideas to improve on a personal level and propel them to greater heights. Embrace the unexpected fresh and different perspectives can get the creative juices flowing.
Indeed, two heads are better than one, and the artistes are set to create epics, incredible and evocative chemistry as they have realised the power inherent in collaborative works.
What a time, indeed, to be alive.
Sipho Big Fish Makhabane was in Zimbabwe where he put up a joint electric performance with Zim Praise at the just-ended Apostolic Faith Mission (AFM) International conference at Rufaro Mission, Chatsworth, Masvingo.
He told The Weekender that he was looking forward to collaborative projects with Pastor Charamba and Manyeruke in a bid to preach peace and unity in Africa in the wake of a litany of xenophobic attacks, corruption and sexual abuse among other intolerable vices.
Enthusiasm is infectious.
Makhabane, who owns Big Fish music and is credited with discovering some of South Africas leading gospel stars such as Hlengiwe Mhlaba, Pastor Ncanda, Israel Mosehla, Mzwakhe Myeni, Tshepiso Motaung, Sechaba, Frans Dlamini, Ncandweni Christ Ambassadors and Lundi, among others said he was also looking forward to work with Zim Praise and other upcoming artistes in Zimbabwe under the theme: Discover, Develop and Expose.
In South Africa, I am the only musician who raised a lot of artistes. I also collaborated with Pastor Elias Musakwa and another Zimbabwean guy in London and now I am looking forward to do various collaborative projects with the old man (Mechanic) Manyeruke and Pastor Charles Charamba. It is going to happen, let us come together as Africans. I am here (Rufaro Mission) for preaching, I will come back and take them on tour to preach peace and unity in Africa. I spoke to the old man, we communicate and talk with the two gentlemen, said Makhabane.
Manyeruke confirmed that the deal was in the pipeline.
The plans are there. In fact, it was supposed to have been hammered last year, but things stopped when he was involved in a road accident. I have been waiting since then and there are arrangements that I might be going to South Africa and possibly do it. We are working together since we are music legends in our respective countries, said the Madhimoni and Moses Murenje hits maker.
Pastor Charamba is an iconic composer, face of gospel music in Zimbabwe and a graduate of music as well as a producer in his own right having established his own studio and put his albums out under his Fishers of Men label. He said there was something in the offing before Makhabanes accident.
We talk a lot and in fact things took a downward turn when he was involved in accident last year. There was mention of it in our numerous discussions, but we are yet to come up with something solid, said Pastor Charamba.
Makhabane said: We need to give praise to God and come together as African artistes and explore ways of reminding fellow Africans that we are the image of God, let us love one another, let us protect one another.
We need to find a way to convey a message so that this spirit of Africans killing each stops. It is a very bad thing; Africans should not point accusing fingers. The message we will be communicating to Africans is let us come together, let us become one, let us protect our image and let us stop this xenophobic thing, said Makhabane.
I am over the noon to perform before such a massive crowd made up of people from five continents, it is amazing. It is a rare opportunity to preach peace and unity, he said.
Makhabane said he was doing events in South Africa under the theme: Peace and Unity maAfrica.
I have raised a lot of musicians, and as I preach here, I have identified talented up and coming musicians that need grooming. I saw Zim Praise and as an old legend I am looking forward to help them to penetrate the South African, to see them fly in Africa. It is my responsibility to help them. In South Africa I have helped at least 10 artistes and I have collaborated with Joyous Celebration, Jabu Ndlongwane and the late Vuyo, among others. I will come back to help them fly like the other musicians. Our father, Oliver Mtukudzi is famous in South Africa because someone took him and made sure he penetrates the market there. On the gospel side it is my responsibility to look after these young ones and raise them to stardom under my theme: discover, develop and expose, said Makhabane.
Discover, develop and expose is the theme he uses to identify, hone and export talent across Africa.
Music is a lucrative business that transformed Makhabane into a celebrity he is today.
My brother I was disadvantage by the background of my family, but I am not even ashamed to tell you that because of my poor educational background I never thought I would be where I am today. People dont believe that I am a Standard Three drop out. I have wiped that away from my mind because a lot of people who are not educated think they cannot make it in life. They dont do anything because they are not educated, but here I am with my Standard Three, said Makhabane.
Makhabane said he was born in Mpumalanga in 1965 into a poor family.
His father passed away when he was young, forcing him to drop out of primary school. While doing odds jobs in construction, then as a technician for Telkom, he developed a passion for gospel.
I was so patient with my music because the recording companies at first didnt understand Ngitinikela kuwe and Yekintokozo, but I remained resolute because I knew where I was going and today the influence of my music is all over in South Africa. Many artistes are taking and using my music. The musical industry made me. I have invitations to preach in many countries and I do my best to preach the word. Perseverance is the mother of success, he said.
His breakthrough came in the mid-90s with the hits Ngitinikela kuwe and Yekintokozo. He went on to release a string of big-selling albums, including Calvary (2001), Moya Wami (2003), Umuzi Omuhle (2005), Hamba Nami (2008) and Ebenezer (2009).
Along the way he has picked up numerous SAMA and Crown Gospel awards, as well as a Kora nomination, earning the nickname Big Fish for his influential role in the industry. Makhabane retired officially in 2010 in a much publicised event at the Pretoria State Theatre, released as a live DVD and CD. He retired to focus his energies on developing young talent.
He established his own label, Big Fish Music, and has groomed or produced a host of young gospel stars, including Hlengiwe Mhlaba, Pastor Ncanda, Israel Mosehla, Mzwakhe Myeni, Tshepiso Motaung, Sechaba, Frans Dlamini, Ncandweni Christ Ambassadors, Lundi and many others.