Richmore Tera Arts Correspondent
SOUTH AFRICA-based Zimbabwean gospel musician, Reverend Toggy Chivaviro has achieved a major feat unsurpassed by many after he successfully shot all the videos to his latest album “Ishe Taungana” in seven countries scattered across the globe. According to Chivaviro, the DVD album took about three months to shoot on various locations in France, Israel, Palestine, Jordan, Botswana, South Africa and Zimbabwe.
But how did he achieve that feat, considering that some artistes are content with using one location for their videos in order to cut on expenses associated with travelling with the entire group?
“As you know, we mix ministry and music and this means that we travel a lot. We use music as a vehicle to drive our ministry. Since we are often invited to travel around preaching the gospel, we then take the opportunity to spread our music and this is the same thing that we did with this DVD which we took advantage of to shoot as we were going around preaching in these countries,” Chivaviro said.
The award-winning singer also revealed that this achievement also accorded them with an opportunity to market the DVD in the various countries in which it was shot.
“We are happy that this will be an opportunity to market Zimbabwean gospel music in these countries since our ministry will also spearhead its distribution there.”
While Zimbabweans will have a chance to sample and lay their hands on the DVD album during a double album launch of both the audio and visual versions of “Ishe Taungana” set for March 4 at the Anglican Cathedral Gardens in Harare, South African fans of the artiste will be obliged with a launch of the audio album on February 2, in Jameston.
Meanwhile, Chivaviro has described the new album as a “deeply spiritual” offering than all his previous recordings.
“This one is deeply spiritual than the other albums we have recorded before. It speaks more to the inner person, that one which is closer to God. It is like talking to God, and therefore it is for a mature audience, so to speak,” he said.
Chivaviro added: “We have discovered that our traditional hymns are gradually fading and to us recording them is part of preserving a heritage.
That is the reason why we do them in their traditional way and not the contemporary style.
Listening to them is like you have taken the church from the building to the home, hence the decision to mix hymns from various churches like the Methodist, AFM, Anglican, among others.”
The affable musician, who is gifted with a very deep, big voice similar to the likes of Sipho Makhabane, Derick Nzimande and Jabu Hlongwane, said being in South Africa has given an opportunity to refine his style of music.
“Being in South Africa gave me the opportunity to discover myself.
I also had the chance of metting up with those South African artistes I first met during the Nguva Yakwana gospel shows in Zimbabwe and the experience of working with them, especially on this album, has been eye-opening. An album is not an individual glory but a product of teamwork,” he said.
“Ishe Taungana” is the ninth recorded album from the artiste who has won a number of awards, among them being the Musica Peace Award which he jointly won with Alick Macheso and the late Ephat Mujuru in 2000; the SABC’s 2010 Crown Gospel awards which he was voted third in the Best of Africa category; Christian Network of South Africa for his book “Relationships, Sex and Marriage (2012).
He was also nominated for the Namas on numerous occasions.