South African gospel artists Rebecca Malope, Hlengiwe Mhlaba and Lusanda Spiritual Group are billed to perform at Pelandaba Stadium in Gwanda, Zimbabwe from 26 - 28 August.
Dubbed 'National Gospel Concert', the show is organized by the country’s tourism ministry and a local church called Brethren in Christ Church. The show will run under the theme 'God Is Listening And Waiting For Us To Act'.
In August last year, Malope, Mhlaba and Lusanda were invited to perform at that gospel extravaganza in Gwanda organized by Big Time Strategic. Malope, who will headline this year’s show, did not show up at the event leaving fans disappointed.
Despite the disappointment, Malope remains a force to reckon in the country’s gospel music circles. Zimbabwe has become her second home and, recently, has held a number of shows in the country.
On 28 May, the gospel diva headlined a one-day Gospel Divas’ concert at the Harare Gardens. The show was part of her celebrations to mark her successful 30-year musical career which began in 1986. She has also performed in Bulawayo.
Malope's music is well-received in the country and her most popular songs include ‘Look at Me’, ‘Mandilive’, ‘Uthando Lwami’, ‘Ngiyamazi Lo Jesu’, ‘Ngibemuhle Nam’ and ‘Ukuzenza’.
Mhlaba, a product of Sipho Makhabane’s The Big Fish Music, is another powerful artist whose music has found a place in the country. Some of her popular offerings include ‘Mhlekazi’, ‘After Today’ and ‘Yiyo Lendlela’. She will be performing at the event for the second time.
Undoubtedly one of the influential and talented gospel music outfits in the country, Lusanda Spiritual Group has made a success through music. Headed by Lusanda Mcinga, her music took off in 1998, when she recorded ‘Ungababek'ityala’. The album won Mcinga her first gold disc. Since then, her career keeps rising owing to a number of accolades she has received.
In a statement, the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA), a corporate body responsible for tourism promotion, planning and development said the event was designed to benefit the locals. "This religious event has a number of downstream benefits to the Gwanda community and it also spurs the development of other sectors like tourism. The event has been endorsed by the government as a national event,” said ZTA.