By Robert Mukondiwa:
After suffering torrents of criticism from acres of space in the media dedicated to often unflattering descriptions of their latest work, the Charambas have been reaffirmed as the first family of gospel music as always by their fans.
Sales of their latest album entitled WeNazareta have shown that the album has been flying off the shelves in spite of initial inertia from the buying public and the negative media charade that immediately followed the album’s release.
In fact in little under two days, 10 000 units had been certified ‘missing’ from stores and in their stead was money-something also known in the capitalistic world as; sold!
“We are happy that the people have warmed up to the album despite others being of the impression that it probably was not good enough,” said Charles Charamba without specific reference to who the ‘some’ were; obviously the media. But the diplomatic Charamba would say no further.
But arguably the biggest name in Zimbabwean gospel music in the post Sengwayo-Manyeruke era, Charamba explained why the album was probably not what everyone expected. It was designed to be like that.
“The album is not a Charles Charamba product or and Olivia Charamba product. It is a joint project; a duet of two gospel artistes who sing somewhat differently when they do individual products. This is the coming together of two styles in an album duet and so it was different-obviously,” he said.
“It is our baby and we are proud of it as an album and the purpose behind styling it that way is reaping benefits and doing the intended work we meant it to do.”
But that is not the major reason. Eager to tap into the international market, which he felt had not warmed up to their music in spite of grand local and regional success, Charamba says this was an album for the freshman Charamba listener one may say.
And according to him, it has worked wonders.
Their show in Australia in which they played songs off the new versatile album, was a big hit with the non-traditional Charamba music listener. Most importantly, the use of English in some of the songs also helped those non Shona music lovers to also come to the religious party.
But there is good news for the traditional museve Charamba music lover. The album is a project that has not changed the Charambas who will return to their traditional style in their next projects.
“As I was in a hiatus studying to minister over the past four years, music was on the back burner and we have a joint album for minister to a fresh new pocket of listener. But we are obviously working on projects now to feed the local traditional music lover,” said the soft spoken Charamba.