Deborah Fraser

Africa Entertainment In The News

Dr Tumi, Fraser to grace Gwanda festival

Solly Makganoto

SOUTH AFRICAN singers, Dr Tumi and Deborah Fraser, will be part of the line-up of music acts expected to spark fireworks at the annual Gwanda International Gospel Festival scheduled to run from Friday till Sunday.

The GIGMF organised by Big Time Strategic Group will be held from October 5 to 7 under the theme, “The Walls of Jericho Did Fall”. Entrance is free.

The festival is the brainchild of Big Time Strategic Group CEO Justice Maphosa who grew up in Gwanda before moving to South Africa to build his empire.

Alson Darikayi, Big Time group corporate affairs director, said this year’s festival was meant to celebrate that the walls of limitation on Zimbabwe have fallen.

“Our theme this year is quite foretelling especially as we work towards rebuilding the economy of our beautiful nation, Zimbabwe. We believe the walls of limitation that have kept the nation of Zimbabwe stagnant are tumbling as we lift our praise to the Mighty Man of War – Jehovah. Zimbabwe shall rise again,” said Darikayi.

He said the GIGMF was the place to be for gospel music lovers who prefer to “experience” live music while ‘reclining’ in the sweet presence of the living God.

“Once again, we’ll gather in Gwanda to give praise to the living God because He is absolutely deserving. We consider this as a calling and our desire has always been that Gwanda becomes an altar for the nation of Zimbabwe where people from all parts of the country converge to call on God free of charge.”

“We’re excited to have this year’s line-up of gospel artistes with a genuine hunger for God and a deep inclination to worship Him. Our desire is to see the banner of God lifted high as we passionately praise and worship Him.”

“As a way of empowering young people in Zimbabwe, we have roped in three youthful groups — Hybrid Psalmz from Gwanda and Vocal Ex co-founded by Eric Moyo of Joyous Celebration. For Iscathamiya fans, we have Indosakusa, who recently released their sizzling 13-track album”.

“Such is the diversity of this year’s festival,” said Darikayi.

When asked about measures they are putting in place to curb the cholera outbreak, Darikayi said: “We’re fully aware that there’s a cholera outbreak in the country. We’ve been working in consultation with the relevant health authorities to monitor the situation.

“Also, we’ve put points around the stadium with sanitizers and more than adequate ablution facilities in terms of mobile toilets.”

The festival attracts nearly 40 000 people annually.

Compared to previous editions where tonnes of equipment were imported into the country for the staging of the festival locally, Darikayi said they had contracted Harare’s Event Solutions to provide sound, lighting and stage equipment.

“This is part of our drive to empower the local service providers. Our technical team was meticulous in choosing Event Solutions as they came to Zimbabwe from South Africa and canvased for the best here.

“So from six service providers who were shortlisted, they chose Event Solutions. They have the capacity to bring the best sound and experience for the size of Phelandaba Stadium,” said Darikayi.

SA gospel queen Rebecca Malope was turned away from the border twice because her papers were not in order, but this time, Darikayi said all artistes had been cleared.

“Everyone has been cleared by the relevant authorities. We learnt from our mistakes and we’ll do better this year as we’ve done our homework.”

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