She is now happily married to Bishop Admire Kasi and she is currently based in the UK where she has completed a LLB degree at the University of Bedfordshire and is also a leader at Forward in Faith Ministries.
Ivy Kombo is the founder of the Nguvayakwana Celebrations and director of The Gospel Train Records. She was born on April 16 1975 at Harare Hospital and grew up in Glen View 4 where she attended primary school before proceeding to St John’s Secondary School at Chikwaka.
At school she was involved in the school choir and at Scripture Unions where her infectious and melodious voice was discovered. After school she became a member of the Zimbabwe Assemblies of God Africa where she exposed her vocal skills.
In 1993, a record label known as Gospel Train was born and Ivy’s first album, “Mufudzi Wangu”, came out of this stable. After an overwhelming response to this album, Ivy was encouraged to record an album every single year.
In 1994 she released “Ndinokudai Jesu” which was followed by “Vimbai naJehova in 1995”. In 1996 she released “Kutenda” and in 1997, with the assistance of Girlie Chiurava, she penned “Revival Songs”. This album was well received.
A follow-up album was released in 1998. This was entitled “Ndaidziwanepi Nyasha”. The following year another album “Hosana Wekudenga” was cut. Several gospel journalists received this as an excitingly inventive piece of work.
In 2000 yet another album, “Nyengetera”, was released. The following year Ivy teamed up with the late Jacqueline Madondo and revisited the songs on “Mufudzi Wangu”. This resulted in the release of “Mufudzi Wangu Special”.
In the same year through the efforts of her producer, Pastor Admire Kasi, Ivy teamed up with a South African gospel artiste, the late Vuyo Mokoena, to release an album entitled “Nguva Yakwana”. This album did extremely well on the gospel market in Zimbabwe.
Live gospel concerts were organised to promote this album. When the “Nguva Yakwana” project was launched, over 5 000 fans went to see Ivy, Vuyo, Fungisai, Zodwa and others live in action at the Harare International Conference Centre. Further gospel crusades were arranged resulting in Ivy and her group touring South Africa, Zambia, Malawi, Botswana and Mozambique.
In 2002, yet another album “Denga Rinotura” was released. In February 2003, Ivy received a Nama award in the category of Best Selling Gospel Artiste, beating two other nominees, Prince Mafukidze and Fungisai Zvakavapano-Mashavave.
In the same year, Ivy released another album entitled “Handidzokere Shure Volume 1”.
In Zimbabwe, there has always been a very strong misconception about women in the music business.
They are often perceived as either people lacking in moral values, loose women, promiscuous persons, sex objects or undisciplined people who have rebelled against society.
The main reason why women are labelled as such by their male counterparts is due to the fact that African societies have remained patriarchal over the years regarding the traditional roles played by women, and singing on stage for the public is not one of them.
Ivy has experienced trials and tribulations experienced by most Zimbabwean women involved in the music business.
Her first marriage with Eddie Moyo did not work out and there was a public outcry over that with rumours circulating that the whole thing was a set-up.
Her current husband, Bishop Addy Kasi, was labelled as the man behind the scandals.
After that, the rumour mill accused her of dating the late South African gospel singer, Vuyo Mokoena, which to many is a behaviour considered to be unpalatable with Christian values.
Being female and in the public eye most of the time has its problems.
Women on the whole have found the pop music business taxing both socially and emotionally.
I am sure other female gospel artistes such as Fungisai Zvakavapano-Mashavave, Olivia Charamba, Amanda Sagonda, Joyce Simeti, Amai Hweru, Shingisai Siluma, Diana Zembe, Caroline Chiwenga, Caroline Mujokoro, Mercy Mutsvene, Anna Zengeya, Nyasha Bare, Tholakele Ndlovu and Spiwe Chimuti have stories to tell about the difficult experiences they face in the music industry, but even famous male musicians also face the same problems.
Look at Alick Macheso of “Zvakanaka Zvakadaro” fame. He is being accused of being polygamous.
There are hundreds of people who behave in exactly the same manner as him but they do not hit the headlines of newspapers because they are not in the public eye and are therefore not newsworthy.
In an age where nobody wants to judge anybody’s behaviour as wrong, it is up to their Creator to decide what steps to take in order for them to repent of their actions.
Who are we to judge harshly other human beings for doing what is generally viewed as sin by those who consider themselves morally upright?
Malice, backbiting selfishness, lying and greed are common evil practices among us and are equally bad and sometimes have more devastating consequences. It is therefore everyone’s responsibility to see to it that we restore the individual who has fallen rather than judge him harshly.
For this reason, I do not judge Ivy or Alick. As Bob Marley put it way back in the 1970’s, “Judge Not”.
Ivy is still recording gospel music in the UK and has a huge following of gospel music fans.
She is an inspiration to many despite her failings which goes to prove that she is human after all. Her latest gospel album is entitled “Two Minutes” and according to Ivy, it is selling very well.
l Fred Zindi is a professor at the University of Zimbabwe. He is also a musician and an author of several books on music. He can be contacted via e-mail on [email protected]