Story by Robert Mukondwa- Pastors Charles and Olivia Charamba received an early Christmas present when their fans organised a surprise appreciation dinner for them in the capital Harare last Sunday in appreciation for their ‘sterling work and tireless ministry’ to the nation through song.
An award was handed to the ‘first family of gospel music’ during the event as a token and sign from the adoring fans in the form of a sculpture.
Speaking after the event, an overwhlemed Pastor Charamba said he, his wife and the entire Fishers of Men team appreciated the gesture which they considered warm and encouraging.
“In the face of some scathing criticisms here and there it is good to get recognition from unsolicited avenues. While criticism helps us improve and deliver what our listeners and our fans in general want, such gestures of appreciation help us stay encouraged and feel appreciated,” he said.
The Charambas had held a show for their family followers in Chitungwiza’s Aquatic Complex which was packed to the rafters and further galvanised the Charamba’s place as the darlings of gospel music lovers in the satellite town.
“On the back of such a wonderful show it is great that we wake up to such a wonderful surprise and get a gift and token from our fans. To us it is certainly as good as an early Christmas present for the band.”
But the Charambas are not just receiving, they have a packed local Yuletide program which has already commenced with them accepting community projects including a drive to Kadoma’s Lady Tait Primary School where Pastor Charamba was a guest of honour at the school’s speech and prize giving day.
“Our talk was on the inclusion of music in the school curricular activities in line with changing reality and trends. The arts are beginning to benefit our children and it is timely that such should be included in conventional learning. It is commendable that the school has taken these up and is teaching these psycho-motor skills from an early age,” he said.
But their schedule does not end there as they head to Nyadire Teacher’s College this Saturday to perform at the formation of the reputed college’s fundraiser and setting up of the college alumni.
“Education is at the core of our heart and that is why we are partnering with institutions of learning a lot. It forms the basis of society,” said Pastor Charamba.
The college, a United Methodist Church run institution has churned out thousands of teachers in its illustrious history and is famed for raising the standards of tutorship in the nation, complementing government efforts to raise the standard of national literacy.
“It is hardly going to be a restful Christmas. After our latest album WeNazareta started making great waves, we felt it best to follow it up by taking it to the people in concert,” added Pastor Charamba.