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Of Blurred Lines Between Gospel and Secular Musicians


Gospel music has always been about ministering and uplifting souls to Christ and the life of musicians who sing the genre is expected to be representative of God himself. That is why it is a big story when a gospel musician is involved in scandalous behaviors or cross certain lines demarcated by society.

 By Lemuel Rangarira Chekai

On the other hand, secular music is all about entertainment and self gratification and nowhere close to ministering. Lyrics like ‘Jesus can’t save you life starts when church ends’ (Empire state of mind Jay Z ft Alicia Keys)  are evident of how extremely anti Christ secular music can be.

Of late, secular and gospel artists have composed and produced collaborative projects. The million dollar question is could gospel musicians who collaborate with secular musicians be following in the steps of Jesus Christ who dwelt and ate among non believers so as to win them over?

Recently Nicki Minaj featured on Tasha Cobbs Leonard’s ‘I’m getting ready’ a gospel track and now the question that arises is whether the motive behind is to minister or just making sales,ratings and awards. Why would one choose Minaj an artist who always performs half naked and sings worldly lyrics? Is this Tasha’s way or strategy for reaching out Minaj and lure her to Christian values and lifestyle.

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The song created some controversies on it’s release. Commenting on the song after it was posted on Tasha’s YouTube account, one fan said, “Christian music isn’t just something that you sing. You don’t just medicate people if you ain’t a trained doctor. How can you step into ministry leading others closer to Christ when your fruit isn’t there.”

Another fan argued,”Sometimes church people can be so “cultured” they can’t see God moving in unexpected ways.” Tasha responding to the critics simply said,”I’ve seen the Nicki that is off the stage and that Nicki has a great relationship with God. My assignment with this song was for a particular audience.”

The arguments will always stay on because at some point we all sin but God is merciful and gracious. He always give each one of us several a chance. What is really important is to focus on your own salvation and preach to all those who haven’t known Him yet, ways and means on how to minister is a personal choice.

Coming back to Zimbabwe, Fungisai Zvakavapano Mashavave was at the receiving end after going against the odds to collaborate with Killer T on the song Daidzai Vakuru. The song became an instant hit in the ghetto but Fungisai gained the label of being controversial.

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This followed another hit song she did with Jah Prayzah titled Gore Rapera.

Fungisai who seem unfazed by the criticism said, “I cut across genres and I will not hesitate to churn out relevant tunes across the board. For now, I have a ‘season’s song’ set to be released on New Year’s Eve and it’s on a Zimbabwe traditional beat.”

Another gospel musician who has done a lot of collaborative projects with secular artists is Mathias Mhere.

The high rising gospel musician featured Zimdancehall stars Freeman, Killer T and King Shaddy on some of his songs but has not been criticized as much as Fungisai.

While gospel musicians are criticized for collaborating with their secular counterparts, the question that society has not been able to answer is, Are gospel musicians too weak to be swayed away from Christ?

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263Chat is a Zimbabwean media organisation focused on encouraging & participating in progressive national dialogue

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