Renowned gospel musician Ethel Kamwendo Banda last Sunday performed in Harare, Zimbabwe during a Church of Central African Presbyterian [CCAP] concert which has since opened a window of opportunity for her as she has clicked with the country’s popular gospel outfit, Mahendere Brothers.
Mahendere Brothers are a popular group in Zimbabwe and Kamwendo Banda said she discussed with them the possibility of taking her on board during their performances. “They normally hold big concerts and invite groups from other countries so I talked to them to give me a platform during some of their shows and they accepted,” said Kamwendo in an interview. She performed in Zimbabwe with her band, Impact Sounds, led by Gresham Mokwena.
“Mahendere Brothers have promoters who can connect you to big festivals and so by connecting with them, surely, I stand to gain a lot,” she said. Malawi’s deputy high commissioner for Zimbabwe graced the show before and later hosted a dinner at the Embassy in honour of Kamwendo Banda. The Zimbabwe Herald newspaper reported on Tuesday that Kamwendo Banda won the hearts of many Zimbabweans with her classic performance during the concert. The paper said the Malawian gospel artist, who was recently among local musicians involved in the One Gospel concert, dazzled the audience during the live concert, which brought together gospel musicians from Malawi and Zimbabwe.
The CCAP concert was held at the Harare Gardens with Kamwendo Banda topping the bill and that it lived up to its expectations, taking worshipers on a spiritual voyage. “We need such kind of platforms as musicians and I am happy I exposed myself. I have also been asked to send my manager who happens to be my husband to go and register my songs there so that they can start playing them on their stations and that means royalties,” said a seemingly excited Kamwendo Banda. Her trip to Zimbabwe alongside the band members was fully funded. She disclosed that the organisers of the event got information about her music through the social networks Facebook and UTube.
The Herald also reported that Kamwendo Banda, who started her career with secular music before she went gospel after she became a born again Christian, proved why she is one of Malawi’s top artistes when she delivered a flawless act. The newspaper reported that people loved her act especially when she belted out some of the songs that made her famous, among them, ‘Mwandikondera,’ ‘Ndinu Nokha,’ ‘Alemekezeke,’ and ‘Chete.’ The paper went on to testify that the gospel musician proved why she is called “Malawi’s Queen of Gospel” as fans repeatedly requested that she jumped on stage to perform at intervals during the concert.
Also in fine form during the function, according to the paper, were Mahendere Brothers who came to the concert with their “batteries” charged. The ‘Africa Yorumbidza,’ hit-makers, led by Amos Mahendere, dished out their crowd favourites among them ‘Psalm 23’ and ‘Hupenyu Hwepanyika’ and that as their norm, they left the crowd yearning for more with their well-choreographed stage act spiced up with immaculate dressing. Alfred Mpasa, the co-ordinator of the celebrations, is quoted by The Herald newspaper, saying they were happy that people came in their numbers to support the event. “We are glad that God was on our side and with faith we managed to raise some of the money required for the celebrations next year. Ethel Kamwendo-Banda will be back for another concert we will be holding in Bulawayo next month,” Mpasa said.
Kamwendo Banda was recently voted the Best Female during the Malawi Music Awards, the first of its kind, during a colourful event, which took place in Blantyre. The musician who also staged a performance in South Africa this year, recently released two new albums namely Chete and Zabwino Zonse. She also released a double for Ambuye Wazatheka Bwanji last year which features the hit ‘Mwatikondera,’ and Ndinu Nokha where she sold over 32,000 copies. Ethel Kamwendo Banda connects with Zim’s top gospel band