Tafadzwa Zimoyo Arts Reporter
In a bid to broaden her horizons and capture a new market, United States-based gospel musician and worship leader Shingisai Suluma is only working on English songs for her upcoming project. Suluma, who rose to stardom in the late 90’s, said all was not rosy in the foreign land.
The “Maitiro Enyu” hitmaker will be returning to her base in US tomorrow after staging a scintillating and energetic performance at Janet Manyowa album launch at Celebration Centre on Saturday. She said turning to English songs was necessitated by the need to broaden her fan base.
“Gospel music is a ministry we can’t stop. It is about passion and calling. I am not working on a new album yet but have resorted to releasing singles. My new project is will have English songs only.
“The main reason is to have a wider fan-base. I may be popular in Zimbabwe, but we are still struggling to penetrate other markets because of the language barrier. I sometimes find it difficult to perform at a function of with many non-Zimbabwean fans that do not understand Shona,” she said.
Suluma said she was not going to translate her old Shona songs, but composing fresh songs that she will record soon. Commenting response to last week’s show, Suluma was impressed with how locals are supporting gospel music.
“I was overwhelmed with the attendance at the just ended show. Before coming here I had somehow weighed this event as a minor show; little did I know that Zimbabwean upcoming and established gospel musicians are a force to reckon with,” she said.
She was impressed with the level of growth and development in the local music industry compared to past years. Suluma said she first met Janet Manyowa via social media after being hinted by fans. “My fans told me there is my replica in Janet Manyowa and I checked her songs on YouTube. I was impressed by her talent and when we met in US we started sharing ideas and chatting. I left Zimbabwe when she was young but now she is an award winning star,” she said.
She said her doors for collaborations are always open. “I have collaborated with Dr Comfort Manyame, Rose Mambo and Janet Manyowa. I am more than prepared to do any collaboration with local singers,” she said. She said that Zimbabwe is always her home but she was no plans of returning permanently anytime soon.
“I have been away for nine years and have been in Zimbabwe five times, performing at some big events and on family business too.
‘‘I urge upcoming female gospel musician to know their purpose in the ministry. I have a lot of musicians who comes and complain about their albums or singles not being played but I tell them about patience. My breakthrough came after my third album,” she said.