Oliver Mtukudzi popularly known as “Tuku” is set to headline Gwanda Gospel Festival the same month he celebrates his 65th birthday, in September. The UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador will perform at the 3rd annual Gwanda Gospel Festival along with a massive line-up of artists namely, Zimpraise, Mahendera Brothers, Mbungo Stars, Tolakele, Knowledge Nkiwane and Judith from Gwanda(the festivals host city), among an array of musicians who are billed to perform on the weekend of September 1-3 according Festival founder and sponsor, Justice Maphosa.
Last year, the Gwanda Gospel Festival used Tuku’s soulful song, Hear Me Lord (I Am Feeling Low), as a signature tune as well as for branding during the three-day concert. The fact that Tuku has made a mark in his long career mostly on the back of music not synonymous with the gospel was never a subject.
“Oliver Mtukudzi, in the song Hear Me Lord, which is part of the reason why we have billed him to perform as the headline act, shows that he is not only in that genre; he is indeed a Christian in his mind and in his heart. It comes across like that,” Maphoasa said.
Gwanda Gospel Festival, since its launch in 2015, has attracted the interest of both Gwanda residents and diverse Zimbabweans drawn from different provinces. Maphosa wants to make Gwanda a religious tower, attracting the saved and those from the world, as part of fulfilling the long held desire of uniting people through song and dance in the town he grew up.
“Gwanda is an altar now. We want Gwanda to be the altar for the whole of Zimbabwe where the whole of Zimbabwe converge for free. We are bringing the best instruments, we are bringing the best fireworks and we are bringing the best musicians across the genres. We are trying to say for those people (like Tolakele, Nkiwane and Judith all from Gwanda) where else will they be seen by 30 000, 40 000 people? Where else will they be seen on national television by millions of people, the answer is nowhere. So we are providing an opportunity where every child of God comes to this altar. We don’t care where you come from. You get in for free and you worship our very same own God who is for all of us,” said Maphosa.
With the huge following behind this years headliner, the festival will definitely attract a huge crowd making it one of the biggest rising Gospel Festivals in Zimbabwe.