“Industry Should Do More for Upcoming Artists’, Rev Chivaviro

Too many aspiring gospel musicians have over the years fallen by the wayside, not because they were not talented but simply because the...



Too many aspiring gospel musicians have over the years fallen by the wayside, not because they were not talented but simply because they weren’t equipped enough with the right knowledge or, in most instances, lacked the proper guidance.
Could it be that our established artists are too stingy with their knowledge or are the young ones themselves way too conceited to ask for advice?

Revered gospel musician Reverend Togarepi Chivaviro explored this matter in his book titled ‘The Effective Gospel Singer ; A Guide For Beginners’ and sought to not only lead the way but do his own part in conscientizing the next generation of stars.
The 100-page book was officially launched on October 7 in Germstone, South Africa and released in honour of the singer’s 20th anniversary in the music industry.
“I have always wondered what we could have avoided or how short our paths into the industry would have been, had those who started long before us, put to paper what they experienced, let alone what they went through to be the heroes we admire”, reads part of a telling chapter in Rev Chivaviro’s book.
“The sad part of it is, all we have remaining are their timeless hits and classics, and nothing more. We would have greatly cherished the stories behind such classics, and it would probably have been easier for us to follow their paths’, he continued.

Having been that ‘upcoming artist’ at one point in his career, Rev Chivaviro feels as if he has a better understanding of what the rising stars of today are faced with on a daily basis trying to make it into the mainstream. The musician hopes that his book will help local emerging talent find better footing in the industry.
“…all I will try and do is pour my heart out in a way that may help someone out there. I will pour my research skills out in a way that may also save someone the hustle of torch-lighting in order to find their way in.
“The information contained here can only be a starting point. There’s more that’s happening in the music industry and trends are changing very fast.
“These basics can only be applied contextually and if this information will help someone get a foothold then glory be unto Jesus”, he said.

The celebrated musician admits that he is where he is today due to ‘years of learning from others’ and feels that the younger generation of artists can take a cue from that.
“I have never attended any formal music school so far, maybe will do so soon, but all I’m relying on are years learning from others and what my own father deposited unto me in terms of tutelage”, writes the singer.

Chivaviro goes on to chronicle his own journey that began in his birth place, the village of Gwehava (south of Gokwe Town Centre), highlighting how his late father would sit and sing with the whole family.
“We would not only sing church hymns, but even school set piece competition songs. As a renowned primary school head who taught in a number of schools in Gokwe, he would bring the competition pieces and start by teaching the family first. In the process, we all got to understand and read tonic-sol-fa notation songs. This resulted in all of us getting into school choirs at tender ages ; I used to practice with the Rumhumha (Chegama) Primary School Choir when I was just 7 and in GRADE 2!”, said Rev. Chivaviro.

Despite his small stature, this did not discourage him in the slightest bit, and he remembers being asked to assist in conducting the school choir at one point.
“It wasn’t a big challenge since my father was teaching us all the basics, as well as music reading when we went back home”, said the musician. Because of this background, all the family members became choir directors and conductors at some point or the other, with some still leading church choirs wherever they go.
“With this kind of foundation I grew up a very passionate chorister. Even when I moved to Moleli Secondary in Makwiro in 1988, I was already a choir member in the first week of school, becoming an assist to choir director”, said the singer.

By 1992 the young Chivaviro had move to Ellis Robbins High School and become part of the school choirs there as well. Around this same time he joined the Malbereign Methodist Choir and began to assist as one of the choir directors there as well.
The exceptional vocalist used to love watching the likes of Pastor G (Stanley Gwanzura) and Rita Shonhiwa during their sessions. Meeting the late Brian Sibalo at one of his school’s scripture union concerts was a life-altering encounter for the musician.
“He heard me singing with my partners JOEL Alferi and Medicine Sayidi. He then took me aside and told me how deep my voice was like his and invited me to some of his concerts for me to learn. That was the time I began to follow the free concerts usually done in the Harare Gardens and met some renowned artists like Baba Mechanic Manyeruke and the Family Singers under Shuvai Wutawunashe”, he wrote.

The deep desire to do more than just choral music made him go out of his way to further his musical knowledge and skills.
“Armed with a keyboard, I began to write songs, both for choral and instrumental presentations. In 1998 I moved into the United Theological College for theological training, having joined full-time ministryin the Methodist Church in 1997.
“It was at that college where I immediately formed a group made up of student pastors, Ossah Manyeza, Memory Chikosi, Kundai Marimbire and Loveness Madzoke. We were joined by Allen Dzobo (now my manager) on the keyboards and Zivai Kamusana on the drums, after meeting the two at Inner City United Methodist. I called this band The Faith Ambassadors. After marrying Juliet Chabata in 1998, she also joined the band. (God has blessed us with two kids, Tinashe and Munashe)”, he wrote.
Their very first album titled Peace Hope and Love was recorded at the late Tendai Mupfurutsa’s High Density Studios and the 6-track album was produced by Noel Zembe, Clancy Mbirimi, Dickson Mandota, among others.

The big turnaround for the gospel guru of course came with ‘Ebenezer Tirimunyasha”, a collaborative effort with the likes of Pastor Charles Charamba, Baba Manyeruke, Pastor Haisa, Bethen Pasinawako Ngolomi, Rumbi Zvirikuzhe, Kudzi Nyakudya, Noel Zembe and his wife Juliet.
The song went viral and virtually became virtually a ‘second anthem’ for many Zimbabweans, clocking over 2million views on YouTube.

His illustrious career has seen him taking home quite a number of accolades and honours, among them being a nomination at the SABC Crown Gospel Awards in the ‘Best Of Africa’ category in 2010. In 2015, he scooped 3 awards, 4 nominations at the PERMICAN Zimbabwe Gospel Music Awards for the song ‘Ebenezer’. A year later, the TRUMPET Africa Gospel Awards (TAGMA) recognized Chivaviro’s talent with Best Collaboration Award, and Best Traditional Gospel. That same year, he also took home the SABC Crown Gospel Awards ‘Best of Africa’ award.

Fast forward to 2017, and the SA-based musician received 4 nominations at the RSA Ingoma Gospel Awards, 2 nominations at the Zimbabwe Music Awards (zima), 2 nominations NAMA awards. StarFm End Of Year Awrard for ‘Mhepo Inoperekedzwa’.
His 2018 release ‘Matishamisa Jireh” broke the weekly Coca-Cola TOP 20 Charts record by clocking over 24 000 votes in one week!

The Ebenezer hitmaker’s many albums include Peace, Hope and Love (1999), Power (2000), Komborerai Africa (2002), Kuna Mwari Zvitaure (2005), The Best of (2006), The Return (2009), Nguva Yakanakisissa (2010), To God Be The Glory (2013), Ishe Taungana (2014), Ebenezer-Tiri Munayasha (2015), Mhepo Inoperekedza & Tsitsi Dzake Ihuru (2016), Maranatha & The Best Of Vol.2 (2017), Matishamisa Jireh (2018).

Rev. Chivaviro’s long musical journey has seen him sharing the stage with renowned artist at home and abroad, the likes of Fungisai, Pastor Haisa, Blessing Shumba, Rebecca Malope, Sipho Makhabane, Lundi, Vuyo Mokoena, Pastor Benjamin Dube, Baba naAmai Charamba and Takesure Zama, to mention but a few.

Music has also taken the talented musician all over the globe, and he has been to countries such as Zambia, France,United Kingdom, Israel, Netherlands, United Arab Emirates and is reportedly preparing for his first United States of America performance.

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Urban Craft Magazine: “Industry Should Do More for Upcoming Artists’, Rev Chivaviro
“Industry Should Do More for Upcoming Artists’, Rev Chivaviro
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Urban Craft Magazine
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