I have always loved music, and I think the love for music is a natural feel that God put in all of us. That is why savants say that music is the medicine of the soul. I vividly remember waking up from the other world and finding my mother listening to AIC Makongoro, Kwaya Ya Uinjilisti Ya Vijana-Arusha Mjini, Kwaya Ya Barabara 13 Ulyankulu and other choir groups that had turned East Africa upside down. There were others of course, such as Machakos Town Choir, Kilimanjaro Revival, and Mwanza Town Choir. It would be unfair to forget guys such as Faustin Munishi who decided to pull a solo.
As the years went by, Western gospel music zoomed in with the likes of Gary Chapman, Ron Kenoly and Lenny Leblanc becoming household names. To be honest, I still listen to these songs. These are kind of songs that came from the heart of the singers.
Who can forget Twila Paris’ God is in control?
‘God is in control
We believe that His children will not be forsaken
God is in control
We will choose to remember and never be shaken
There is no power above or beside Him, we know
God is in control, oh God is in control’
As time passed on, we had the Kassangas with the likes of Jaribu Yesu. If you cant recall this one then you deserve a place in Robinson Crusoe Island; to enjoy the scenic environment with penguins peradventure your memory will come alive.
The list is endless: Reuben Kigame, The Mwaura’s, Darlene Zschech, Women of Faith and Don Moen, Angela Chibalonza, Emachichi. These guys took us from doldrums, decadence and dolefulness to dominion, diligence and delight.
I wonder where Erasto Shengezi is. Wherever you are Erasto, know that there is a song you did with Eunice Njeri in 2013, Umenitoa Mbali, that found a comfy place at the centre of my heart.
Christina Shusho, Solomon Mkubwa, Sarah Kiarie, Reuben Morgan, Marcelina Wambugu, Fanuel Sedekia, Mary Ominde, Chris Tomlin, Tasha Cobbs, Cece Winans, Alice Kamande, Mercy Wiregi, Marvia Providence among others.
Gospel Music is simply Good News Music and not Feel Good Music. It is supposed to draw the power of God to those who are singing. This is the power that transforms lives and convicts hearts. Sadly this is not always the case. In the recent past, we have been subjected to a kind of music that leaves more questions than answers. It is the kind of music that the German philosopher and economist Karl Marx would call, ‘opium of the masses.’
Make noise unto God
Sing, clap your hands, play the instruments, dance and rejoice in the Lord. That is supposed to be our lifestyle. Praising God is a noble thing. It is like the engine of a train, that makes things move. And not a caboose that just follows what happens. Praise affects three persons – God, You and the Devil. Praise is not supposed to be an inevitable byproduct of passing an exam, getting a promotion, reaping good profit or winning a tender. It shifts our focus on God, who is Omnibenevolent, Omnipotent, Omniscient, and Omnipresent. We have to praise Him even when we don’t feel like doing so. It is more than an emotion.
“Round up an orchestra to play for God,
Add on a hundred-voice choir.
Feature trumpets and big trombones,
Fill the air with praises to King God.
Let the sea and its fish give a round of applause,
With everything living on earth joining in.
Let ocean breakers call out, “Encore!”
And mountains harmonize the finale—
A tribute to God when he comes,
When he comes to set the earth right.
He’ll straighten out the whole world,
He’ll put the world right, and everyone in it.”
Psalm 98:5-9 (The Message Bible.)