Arguably, one of the finest gospel musicians ever to emerge from Zimbabwe, Baba Charles Charamba’s reign has been over a very long period until the coming to the fore of many other artistes gracing the same genre.
With 10 best-selling albums to his name, the father of the “First Family” of gospel music in a wide-ranging interview with Standard Style’s Gilbert Munetsi (GM) says he is not yet retired, and his fans should expect more from him in the not-so-distant future.
Holder of degrees in Theology (Living Waters Bible College) and Jazz (Africa University), Baba Charamba had hibernated from the music scene to seriously pursue pastoral work, but he is back working on a project, which will be released in due course. Meanwhile, he continues to nurture his musically-gifted daughters, Shalom and Eternity.
GM: Charles Charamba emerged onto the music scene at a time gospel musicians such as Freedom Sengwayo, Jordan Chataika, Brian Sibalo and Baba Machanic Manyeruke, just to mention a few were already household names. What would you say inspired you to be a musician and how do you describe your entry into the business?
CC: My entry into gospel music was inspired by a specific calling and job description. The entry also took place at a time when the Aids pandemic was at its height. I was so much distraught by the loss of relatives and musical heroes who belong to the golden generation of the industry. Had I not committed to Christ after being saved in 1988, I could have become an outright Sungura or Afro-pop artiste.
The need of evangelising a society that was deep in idol worship then drove me. This is the reason why I recorded Jehovah NdiMwari Wedu as the first track ever. The need of fighting stigmatisation among those infected and affected by the HIV pandemic was a priority too, hence the release of Mhinduro Iripo and other songs. Of course, I also wanted to share musical space with artistes whom I had heard singing since childhood. Read full interviiew here