Young voices on spiritual mission Echoes Of Praise pose for a photograph
Echoes Of Praise pose for a photograph

Echoes Of Praise pose for a photograph

Naledi Sande : Cool Lifestyle Reporter

Echoes of Praise, a group that emanated from a Sunday school choir in Apostolic Faith Mission in Zimbabwe has released an album and becomes one of the groups of young people in the country to unveil a music project. The album titled “Munogona” was released last week. The choral industry is flooded by grown-ups and most have been there for years.This does not seem to be a challenge for Paul Matemaringa and Emmanuel Nyazenga who founded the group and set out to produce an album with only teenage vocalists.

The five-track album was produced by Hughclaid Kalino at Kalino Music.

The group is made up of 15 members; three boys and 12 girls.

It was founded in August 2015 and was derived from a Sunday school group at AFM in Zimbabwe Tynwald South assembly.

The songs on the album are spiritual gems and the first track “Makanaka” has a Nigerian beat.

Some of the songs on the album like “Hakuna Zita seraJesu” are quite familiar since they are sang at church.

“Munogona” and “Tinotenga” are slow worship songs with vocals that can minister to souls. One will be surprised that these are only children from the age of 10 to 19 because their music sounds mature.

Their director, Paul Matemaringa says they are hoping to grow with the addition of other children from other churches.

Matemaringa founded this choir for the sake of exposing young people’s talents to the rest of the world. He said, “Our main focus is to discover talent and to nurture them so that as they mature they may become solo artists.”

Some are astering the instruments with 10-year old Jedy Mahove who plays the keyboard being outstanding.

Phenomenal lead vocalist, Charmaine Madhedhe is 18, but is proving that her future is bright.

“Being part of Echoes of Praise has played a huge role in my life because singing has always been my passion,” she said.

She encouraged other young boys and girls to show off their talents and not underestimate themselves.

Another member of the group, 16-year old Yolanda Nyamupa showed great love for her contribution to the choir and feels proud to be in the choir.

“I have no regrets in what I do because I am doing it for the love of God,” she said.

Due to the fact that the choir is only at its blooming level, Echoes of Praise has only performed at church conferences and they have also performed alongside gospel songbird, Sharon Manyonganise.

Group manager, Emmanuel Nyazenga, said the purpose of the group is to have the children grow in Christian wisdom.

“What makes us different is that we are teaching them to stay in God’s word and unlike other choirs that have grown ups, ours is for the young that are growing so they can later stand on their own feet,” Nyazenga said.

He said they are still teaching them to appreciate that music is not all about the vocals but also about instruments and production so the choir are taking lessons on playing musical instruments.

On the issue of the gender imbalance, since the group only comprises of the boys, Nyazenga said some boys had left the group and now they are looking into recruiting more boys in future.

In a country where choirs are only for those above 20 years of age, Echoes of Praise is going to inspire other young people to venture into choral gospel singing.

Nyazenga asserts that young people should have the passion of spreading the word of God through music.

He added that this venture is not for money-making but for the non-believers to have salvation.

“We are not doing it for money, but we are hoping that those who do not believe in Christ may believe through our music.”

Talent is something that every individual possess. It only needs a push to get it out and if the beholder put their effort, it can make wonders in improving one’s lives.

Some parents can be very discouraging when their children decide to follow their passion for music.

In this case, the parents of these youngsters are very supportive and even offer financial aid when it comes to transportation for shows,.

Nyamupa explains how her parents are very comfortable with her decision to do music and that it does not disturb her school because they do their practice on weekends.

She added, “I only want to say to young people, if God gave you a talent you must pursue it and use it wisely.”

Madhedhe’s parents are also supportive to their daughter as she goes through this journey as a musician.

On the flip side, the other lead vocalist, Nyasha Mupesa who is 17 says that the only problem she has is when they have practices at night.

She had this to say, “I love being part of the choir but sometimes it is distracts me when we have practices at night because I would be having homework and end up not having enough time to do it.”

Working with teenagers may be a handful but Nyazenga and Matemaringa say the group is disciplined and the youngsters are committed.

Nyazenga said, “We took about six months to produce this album and it was not much of a challenge because of their dedication.

“I do not have any complains working with these teenagers but they were committed in this project as they sacrificed their time to finish it,” added Matemaringa.

They are young, they are talented and they are here. This is only just the beginning of their journey as they are here to make you love them.

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