Reverend Togarepi Chivaviro Ropes in Baba Manyeruke, Olinda-led Blockbuster Lineup for 20th-Anniversary Bash

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Popular gospel singer Reverend Togarepi Chivaviro is throwing a bash for his fans at the end of this month to celebrate his two decades in the music industry and he has lined up a blockbuster of performers that includes veteran gospel singer Baba Mechanic ManyerukeOlinda Marowa and Bethan Pasinawako.

The show is set for September 29 at the Anglican Gardens in the capital.

In an interview with the Herald, Rev Chivaviro said he was elated about the historical event.

“I am happy at the same time feel so honoured to be celebrating 20 years of existence in the music industry. I thank God who has been inspiring my messages that are transforming many lives around the world,” he said.

Other artists expected to perform on the day include upcoming artistes under the mentorship of Rev Chivaviro.

Chivaviro has invited all his fans to witness his ceremony where he has also lined a number of activities for the whole family.

“We are inviting all the friends we have collaborated with in the last 20 years to be part of the celebrations. This also includes people that have been involved in our musical productions from 1998 including band members, vocalists and producers to make it an interesting event,” he told Hmetro.

He says his fans have taken over the handling of the event which gives him more time to practice and prepare a polished act.

The Ebenezer hit-maker has also hinted on sampling songs off his forthcoming album which drops early next year.

To date, Rev TT has released 15 albums and eight DVD albums. The man of cloth retraces the journey which he said it was not like a straw in the park.

“My journey in this career was never easy but determination and perseverance led me to where I am today. My wife also played a major role in supporting me and giving me strength to press on,” he said.

Like any other musician, he faced challenges that include recognition, piracy and lack of corporate support.

“I discovered that if you do not have that recognised ‘hit song’ it is very difficult to convince promoters, churches even the public to take you in for their programs. I almost contented myself in thinking I was destined to be just a hymns artist for my church until Ebenezer came in 2016.

“Even after the breakthrough, piracy came with a bang and we really had nothing to show for the huge success of the song in terms of sales. Even the other hits that came after have not been spared,” said Chivaviro.

He also lamented lack of sponsorship for gospel music locally unlike in South Africa and other developed countries. He said the music is shunned by promoters making it difficult for many artists to hold shows.

His latest offering Matishamisa Jireh which is accompanied by a DVD is currently receiving heavy rotation on local radio stations and public gatherings with songs such as Matishamisa, It’s Not Over and Hande Tinovaka proving to be the favourites of many.

Although many of Chivaviro’s past efforts went largely unnoticed, it took the hit Ebenezer, a collaborative project with Charles Charamba, Pastor Haisa, Noel Zembe, Mechanic Manyeruke and Kudzai Nyakudya to open the floodgates of success.

The 20th-anniversary celebrations come at a time the musician has pledged to pay homage to the Methodist Church in Zimbabwe by surrendering the rights of his four Hymnal albums.

The hymn albums are Kuna Mwari Zvitaure, Nguva Yakanakisisa, Nguva Yakanakisisa and Tsitsi Dzake Ihuru.

Chivaviro told a local medium that the gesture is a token of appreciation.

“We are planning to hand over all rights of our 4 Hymnal albums to the Methodist Church in Zimbabwe when we celebrate our 20 years in music. This means the church will own, reproduce and market the albums and many others that we will continue recording.

“This is a token of appreciation to the church for supporting us during our formative years of our musical ministry as well as allowing us to reproduce the hymns in our own way,” he said.

He says performing the church hymns opened doors for his career.

“As a musician, I was shaped by performing the hymns and the greater part of my career the fans identified me in such a manner,” he says.

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ImChris Charamba

ImChris Charamba

Head Storyteller at Enthuse Afrika. Balances literary writing with pop culture experience. Captivates raw, authentic sights, moments, feelings and conversations. Follow me on Twitter @ImChrisCharamba

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