THE power of faith-filled words is seen at work in the remarkable music career of Mathias Mhere, as his second album Anoita Minana, loosely translated to mean “He is a God of miracles”, aptly testifies the young singer’s phenomenal rise to fame, as he received “favour” through the hit album, which catapulted him to be one of Zimbabwe’s prominent gospel artists.
It brought him glory and more glory as the music spread beyond the borders to far away places as the United Kingdom, leading to many memorable memories sufficing in Mhere’s career.
When I asked him what his most memorable times were, Mhere reminisced on one of the special ones:
“They are many, but let me pick the one when I went to the UK for the first time. The venue was packed, by then I didn’t know that my music was being recognised internationally. I could hear people singing along.
How did all this good happen after a disastrous start to his solo career?
“I usually sing about social issues, but relating them to the Bible. The word of God is the standard of life,” said Mhere summing up his foundation for the success he has attained.
“Our beat is a mixture of sungura, afrojazz and jiti.”
The 30-year-old singer was born to God-fearing parents who are elders in Apostolic Faith Mission. He is married to Susan Dzinamarira and the couple is blessed with a son, Shayne.
He said he was inspired by legendary gospel artist Baba Manyeruke who also honed his music skills and South Africa’s gospel music great Solly Mahlangu.
And he said he was born singing.
“I started singing when I was about 10 years old. I and my siblings would sing choruses in church. I then joined a choral group named Rock of Ages,” he said.
The group was based in Mkoba, in Gweru and they released one album titled Hakuna Unoramba.
Mhere rose to prominence with a solo effort in 2012, an album titled Anoita Minana which carried the hit Favour.
Like most testimonies, Mhere faced a lot of challenges in his career before things took a dramatic turn to success after the launch of his solo career in Harare.
He received a rude awakening as his first album Tinoda Nyasha turned out to be a monumental flop as it was poorly marketed.
He then took a four-year sabbatical and only bounced back in 2011.
But the zeal and strong urge to preach the word of God through music propelled the Gutu-born artist, leading him to produce and release five chart-topping albums after that setback at the beginning:
The album Anoita Minana put the young man on the spotlight as almost every song on the album became a hit. Some of the songs on the album include Favour, Vimba NaJehova, Areka and Chipostori, and all were hits.
“It’s all by the grace of God. He gives me the grace to manage,” he said.
He also reveals the secret of how he overcame the scourge of piracy through aggressive marketing, especially the first and second day of releasing the album.
“I make sure the album reaches the market within those two days. I also use the internet to sell the music,” he said.
“Singing gospel is not a commercial venture, but it is a ministry. We preach the word of God through music. We receive testimonies of people having received miracles after listening to our songs. In short, we are preachers of the word. My biggest testimony is that people are receiving Christ through my music.”
Mhere’s fame gained traction in other spheres, as in May 2013 he was appointed charity homes ambassador by philanthropist Killer Zivhu of the Zimbabwe Amalgamated Housing Association.
His job is to identify those in need in both rural and urban areas.
Mhere has also worked with the legendary superstar Oliver Mtukudzi on one of his albums who featured on the song Tsano Handei.
This latest album by Mhere was a sequel of his earlier album Nguva Yenyasha, which comprises plug songs such as Ziya Rangu, Idya Tafura, Pamazuva Angu, Mhandu Yako, Number Busy and Mweya Mutsvene among others.
He advises upcoming artists not to give up as he is ample testimony that patience pays off at the end of the day.
They should keep on trying, our God is a faithful God he says as we wind up our interview.