By Fidelis Manyange
THERE is a gentleman in Epworth who usually moves around playing gospel music on his mobile speaker while selling CDs.
The Alick Macheso look-alike is upcoming gospel artiste Evangelist Tichaona Matende who is also the founder member of Kingdom of God Evangelist Ministry (K.O.G.E.M).
The musician hails from Epworth’s Chinamano area.
His debut album, Tsvimbo YeMinana, is already popular in and around Epworth as well as on the streets of Harare although it is yet to get more airplay on the local airwaves.
Evangelist Matende’s music, whose lyrical content tackles daily social problems, sounds like Pastor Charles Charamba’s beats as well as fellow Epworth gospel artiste Ben Muzanamombe whose music is currently topping the local gospel charts.
Most artistes start venturing into music in their youth but for Evangelist Matende, the idea of getting into music started four years ago.
“I am a street preacher, so I decided to venture into music so that I preach through my songs,” he said.
“I have learnt from other men of the cloth, such as Pastor Charamba, Pastor Gwanzura and Pastor Kavhukatema, among many others, that music is a very effective tool of preaching because it touches the hearts, souls and spirits of those listening.”
The third track on his album, ‘Matomu’, has become a favourite for many.
It is a sing-along.
The artiste who was inspired by South African gospel musician Derrick Nzimande and Baba Machanic Manyeruke said the song ‘Matomu’ is a plea to God to intervene on the drug and substance abuse scourge among youths in the country.
“Hondo yepfuti inokundwa nehondo yezvinodhaka zvadai kutekeshera nenyika nekudaro inotoda kuti Mwari vapindire kunyanya vachibatsirawo zvakare vemitemo, vega havangazvigone,” said Evangelist Matende.
“The effective way to fight drug and substance abuse which has now become rampant should start by both parents and law enforcement agents engaging God.”
Evangelist Matende is on the verge of making musical videos of his current album featuring Epworth’s natural tourism resources, such as the Balancing Rocks, Quarry Dam and Domboramwari, thereby marketing Epworth as one of the country’s beautiful places to visit.
Currently, he is in the studio recording a single titled, ‘Paite Nyaya’.