Pride Africa Network, a development and research organisation, will donate a posh Jaguar XF car to veteran gospel artiste Mechanic Manyeruke as part of events lined up to celebrate the Moses singer’s 40-year career.

The car will be handed over to the 71-year-old artiste on December 19 during a dinner to be held at Rainbow Towers in honour of the gospel music legend by Pride Africa Network.

Shepherd Sirewu, chief executive officer of Pride Africa Network told the Daily News yesterday that Manyeruke’s pioneering role in Zimbabwe’s gospel music deserves to be recognised.

“Baba Manyeruke’s musical career is worthy popping champagne for,” said Sirewu.

“He is the pioneer of modern gospel music in Zimbabwe. We can generally say that Zimbabwe’s vibrant gospel music sector owes a lot to Baba Manyeruke.

“He began his gospel music career when the genre was not fashionable. He started singing gospel music when record companies were not prepared to record gospel music but he soldiered on.”

Pride Africa Network, which presented a trophy to dendera musician Suluman Chimbetu to celebrate his first year at the helm of Orchestra Dendera Kings, has decided to go a gear up this time around.

“We have decided to honour him differently and with a unique car so that people can see what we mean — he is a hero,” said Sirewu.

The 71-year-old Manyeruke, who has been at the pinnacle of Zimbabwean gospel music for four decades, was pleasantly surprised by the news.

“When I learnt about the development I was so touched. I am very excited and nervous at the same time. I can’t believe this is happening to me,” said Manyeruke.

In addition to the Jaguar XF and the dinner, several top Zimbabwean gospel musicians have lined up a show for Baba Manyeruke dubbed The Tribute to Baba Manyeruke Concert slated for November 23 at Harare International Conference Centre (HICC).

Victor Makoni, one of the organisers of the tribute said the plan has been in the pipeline for some time now but it was delayed due to lack of resources. He denied that the Zimbabwean gospel music fraternity has been prodded into action because of the Tuku Tribute Concert held at the end of September.

“We had this idea from last year but we could not generate enough resources. We want to celebrate the life of our veteran gospel artiste along with his fans,” said Makoni, who manages Eternity Productions.

The Tribute to Baba Manyeruke Concert will feature the launch of the iconic gospel star’s new album.

Artistes who confirmed their participation in the gospel concert include Mathias Mhere, Kudzi Nyakudya, Pastor G, Mudiwa, Thembalami, Bethany, ZimPraise, CCAP Voice of Mbare, Amos Mahendere and Agatha.

Makoni added that other artistes such as Pastor Charamba and his wife along with Pastor Bonnie and the Celebration Choir are yet to confirm.

One of the highlights of the tribute concert will be appearance of Manyeruke’s son Emmanuel “Guspy” Manyeruke.