St Augustine once wrote, “The art of music, if sung well, is as good as praying twice”. This statement is finding space in the local Catholic Church in Zimbabwe with singing becoming the most prioritized activity at the present moment.
Since 2009 the local Church held at least two singing courses per year a move which, some people within the church are no longer comfortable with arguing that the songs composed so far are too many to the extent that mere church goers who are not into singing cannot go along with others during Mass.
The church also hosts St Cecilia national singing competitions once a year and several other diocese based competitions.
However, many have questioned the spirituality of these activities.
With sacred music meant to worship and praising the Lord, some now argue that some leave the competition venue very upset saying they have been unfairly adjudicated accusing the adjudicators of bias towards their favorites. Some also argue that some people are now composing songs for competition than for worshiping. These, however are mere allegations, yet to those who are given to this “ministry”, it is a mission and a vocation.
Asked for a comment on the matter, one of the young composers under the Diocese of Mutare, Ronald Kapfidze who has also a hit song on this year’s course entitled, “Kristo Mupiro weChitendero chitsva” said he has no any problem with composition of new songs because it’s a way of spreading the Gospel since most of the songs are from the Bible.
“Singing is also an evangelizing tool and by composing new songs we are fostering evangelization through songs. A bible verse can be read this year and repeated next year but that does not invalidate the message it is containing, therefore I don’t see the reason to stop composition of new songs time and again”, said the young composer.
The Mutare Diocese Composers Association has released 18 songs this time with some going wild with Paul Mukanyi’s latest piece, “Rwiyo Rwemuchato” with recording scheduled for Thursday the 24thof April 2014