Well, hello there to the both of you who are still checking this humble corner of the web with any regularity. We are pleased to bring you a somewhat delayed review of a thoroughly enjoyable concert we attended last Saturday that features South African record-breaking gospel icon Dr Tumi and Minister Michael Mahendere and Takesure Zamar Ncube dubbed Thy Kingdom Come Worship Summit.
We apologize for the atrocious amount of time it took us to put this together. Mea culpa.
So, as we scooped, Dr Tumishang Makweya debuted in Zimbabwe last weekend to perform at the Harare International Conference Centre (HICC) courtesy of Tabernacle of Grace and Apostle B Java Ministries leader Apostle Batsirai Java.
The huge HICC auditorium held as many people as it could seat, leaving out just a few reckonable seats to allow a free circulation of fresh air.
The concert started forty-seven minutes after the gazetted time, blame that on our African sense of time, so they say.
Apostle Java who was the host throughout the five-hour session blazed a trail with a powerful prayer before he proceeded to explain that the purpose of the concert was to celebrate Jesus. He spoke with that vivacity of a Pentecostal preacher, and timely, he could not resist the urge to overpreach.
Hitting the performance ground, Java called upon Minister Mahendere on stage for a question and answer panel where the singer, who is celebrating 23 years in the showbiz this year, shared what has kept him going for that long. After the panel, Mahendere vanished, only to re-emerge shortly onstage with his band, all in elegant raiment and ready to sling.
The Minister opened with Hallelujah and the crowd cheered to the stage the moment they began to sing. An electrifying opener, the smoke from the gas machines literally resembled the presence of a supernatural being throughout his set.
Following up with perfectly chosen jams from his sonically rich Getting Personal With God album, the energy Mike exuded matched his clear, venerational voice. His stage command was just so irrefutable and like they say, when people are hit with good music, they respond. That was the case, fans joined in the praise and sang along.
The oddity of his performance was registered when he turned the worship summit into a Gwara Gwara dance session. It was then that we started to feel the huge HICC shaking. Match his energy with hundreds of revellers and you’ll get an immeasurable synergy.
When he introduced Handingakanganwe, he was so in control of the whole auditorium that the song tagged everyone along without a hitch, even the uninitiated. We are sure the noise projected was loud enough to irk or move every person who was in the hotel at that time, even to the last floor. It was a session that left no stone unturned.
And to show his sonic versatility, the minister superseded the fast-tempo song with a rock one when he performed Yahweh. The song has a growling guitar arpeggio that caused the audience to dance some never-been-heard of moves and it was performed with such a wrathiness or devoutness that would make the 12 Stones or any other Christian band known grin. As wild it may sound, the song landed almost everyone in prayer.
When he finally got to play Simudza Ruoko we were all retted in a worshipful ambience. With just the opening riff, a dozen of fans thronged around the stage with their hands raised. One thing we learnt from Minister Mahendere’s set was there are performers who perform with such a command that nullify the adage that no matter how much a good dancer you’re, you must know when to leave the stage. Totally. Like you just wish if they could go on and on forever.
Up next was the South African-based Takesure Zamar Ncube who kicked off by confessing his nostalgia to sing in Shona. The reverential minister first laid a patch with Jesu Agere Pachigaro, before moving on to warble fans with various of his tearful worship ballads.
It was a deep dive into lamentations as he formidably staged Gore Rinesimba, Kune Zita, Ndinobudirira Chete, Kuregerera and Pamusoro Penyasha. It was so fascinating how he connected each of his songs to another like he was just telling a perpetual beautiful story. With him, you can barely tell if he’s singing pre-written lyrics or he’s just freestyling from the top of his head. But know better, it is soul-stirring. There’s always an unexplained power hiding within many of his slow worship songs. Some songs start off very laid back but then you get to the middle of the song and suddenly there’s unstoppable power coming from the midst of the worshipers. It’s hard to explain but very real. That knack is to be celebrated among other things that he’s blessed with in rarity.
And just like his predecessor, time soon ran out for him regardless of fans’ repeated encore demands.
Ultimately, it was time for the heralded psalmist Dr Tumi to throw lead, a moment every attendee was waiting for.
Taking on the stage to an already psyched crowd, the worshiper started by thanking Apostle Java for bringing him into the country as he’d always wanted to perform in Zimbabwe. A very humble and likeable refined man, the physician quickly changed the atmosphere with Reign in My Life. His style of music, just at it sounds on record, is so simple and we believe it is in that simplicity that he wields the power to connect with his audience.
It was a heart-warming moment for the Zimbabwean fans as they finally get to watch a worshipper they had longed for live in concert. In like manner, it was also sentimental for Dr Tumi who kept on unleashing jewel upon jewel off his well-heeled discography. He performed How I Loved his Name, Jehovah Jireh, You Came For Someone Like Me, I Give My All To You, All I Need, Before Your Throne, I’m Forgiven, We Adore You and closed with Hosana To Jehovah.
Per contra, his set, despite its treacliness at the beginning and end, had some low-lying moments. Such moments could be understood in the context that some of his songs, unlike Mahendere and Zamar, were new to the Zimbabwean crowd. How could this be true? During the set, we could constantly see a resurgence within the crowd whenever lyrics were shown on the big stage screen or when he pitched his voice.
For all one knows, it could also be attributed to his mellow music approach, how sometimes he kept going for minutes without accompaniment. Perhaps.
Bringing up the rear, the concert throbbed until it lasted. All three of these guys with their bands were a real deal, and it was our pleasure to enjoy a day of what they have to offer. The quality was outstanding and there was something for everyone. Having Mahendere to start, Zamar to follow and Tumi to close was an exciting arrangement. Every artist shone and we think every fan of the music should go and experience their shows at some point, even if you’re only a casual fan. Moreover, their music reaches all ages—kids, their parents, and grannies love them too.
Attending this concert was a fun experience, and it touched the soul as well. We were left looking forward to next year’s Thy Kingdom Come Worship Summit as it was announced that it will be happening every year.