Mandaza rises from rural roots to musical stardom Tatenda Mandaza

Arts Reporter

Fast-rising Chivhu-based gospel artiste Tatenda Mandaza hopes to bring ‘healing’ with a new album, “Nyika Inorema,” set for release this coming month. 

Mandaza said he is hoping to be received with open arms by gospel lovers with the release of his second album whose launch party will be on social media.

The album carries eight tracks – ‘‘Tsungirira’’, ‘‘Makomborero’’, ‘‘Inyasha dzaMwari’’, ‘‘Munondida’’, ‘‘Kuchema Kwangu’’, ‘‘Tarira KunaBaba’’, ‘‘Nyaya Dzangu’’, and a Salvation Army hymn ‘‘Ndakanzwa Jesu Achiti’’.

In an interview with The Herald Arts, Mandaza said he recorded the album two years ago at the time of a great test for humanity due to Covid-19. 

He said it was a spiritual way forward for the album to acknowledge the supremacy of the Almighty and the undying human spirit.

“I thought to spread good news through singing, bringing people to depend on God in everything,” he said. “The album is set to bring healing to the social and moral decadency. It was much inspired by observing the environment around us, how people are living and facing, experiences of life, and, travelling to new places.”

Mandaza said the songs were based on what people are facing in their daily lives, hence encouraging people to leave everything in the hands of the Most High. 

“I composed the songs because I want to give solutions to some of the problems. Local music is good. Artistes are trying so hard to be creative.” 

Mandaza said musicians should focus on improving and investing in music rights.

“Music should be affordable to everyone and easily accessible. We should also attend musical rights workshops. We also call for producers not only to record and just to produce, but to help artiste with good music.”

Mandaza said besides the challenge of recording in remote areas which is expensive, radio stations should also play music from outside Harare.

“Radio stations should accommodate everyone, not only well-known artistes. 

“We call for a fair allocation of airplay on all platforms, hence it should begin with community radio stations.”

Despite facing challenges in an industry fraught with obstacles, Mandaza’s unwavering determination and boundless talent has shone through. 

Asked about his role models, Mandaza said he idolises his parents.

“My parents were my role models. They were so serious in whatever they were did that they were not failures. I grew up in a family that loved music. My mother was well-talented on that. I followed her footsteps, singing in the church choir.”

Born and raised in the serene village of Godzi, Chiweshe, nestled within the Mazowe District of Mashonaland Central Province, Mandaza embodies the fusion of rustic simplicity and soaring talent. 

His formative years were spent immersed in the vibrant rhythms of the Salvation Army Church, where his parents, Douglas and Florence Mandaza, were esteemed leaders. 

It was within the hallowed halls of the church choir and school assemblies that Mandaza’s passion for music was ignited. 

Following his education, Mandaza embarked on a varied career path, undertaking part-time duties with unwavering dedication. 

His professional trajectory led him to the Zimbabwe Republic Police in 2005, where his exemplary conduct and commitment earned him accolades. 

Over 12 years of service in the police force across various stations, including Chivhu, Bikita and Chatsworth, Mandaza’s unwavering dedication left an indelible mark. 

Influenced by luminaries such as Leonard Zhakata and Vabati VaJehova, he honed his craft within the rich tapestry of church choirs and community gatherings. 

His innate talent and passion for music blossomed, leading to the formation of The Incarnation Brothers choir group and his mastery of the drum. 

In 2021, Mandaza realised a lifelong dream with the release of his debut album, “Kuenda Mberi,” which was produced by MJ Studio.

The album resonated with audiences, captivating listeners with its poignant lyrics and soul-stirring melodies.

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