I believe music is a God given gift and should be used to glorify the Almighty. Therefore I use music to express my experience with God to the next person. I take my musical talent as a calling to serve God. Gospel in itself is a ministry. So essentially Gospel is my spiritual testimony, I use music to testify.- Charisma Khumalo
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In a delusional generation where there is so much peer pressure and ‘bazothini syndrome’ he has tried to be one of the most genuine people and ignore how everyone else rolls; for him, he would rather roll with the Almighty himself. From being a young boy at Amaswazi Primary to Sikhulile High school and now Lupane State University, Charisma has grown not only physically of course, but rather spiritually and intellectually.
He has done the unexpected for a 25 year old; he is a singer, student, poetry lover and cricket player (bowler) amongst other things. What’s catchy is that he was born on New Years’ Day probably signifying a new era and blessings. It is undeniable that he has definitely lived up to that.
Lifestyle editor Charmaine Mudau (CM) met up with Charisma Khumalo (CK) for a brief chat to catch up on his career in the gospel industry. We also got to get his understanding on how it is like being a young gospel artist and why he chose that particular genre.
The most fascinating part about the interview is that Charisma and Charmaine, were catching up 15 years later after having known each other since they were both 10year old’s.
CM: Tell us in brief about the young man that you are?
CK: I was born on the 1st of January 1993. I have played cricket as a sport and as a hobby. since my primary school days. I play for Lupane State University. I play the position of a bowler. I was the school captain and received a couple of awards in the sport. I like spending time with close family and friends. I also enjoy dry clean jokes and sarcasm (laughs). I watch movies from time to time.
I am studying towards a Bachelor of Social Science in Geography and Population studies degree. I always considered myself as an average student and I had to work hard to get good grades. My parents, especially my father and uncle, had a lot of influence in motivating me.
CM: Why Gospel of all genres?
CK: I’m a SDA fellow and I believe music is a God given gift and should be used to glorify the Almighty. Therefore I use music to express my experience with God to the next person. I take my musical talent as a calling to serve God. Gospel in itself is a ministry. So essentially Gospel is my spiritual testimony, I use music to testify I have lot of role models, Dr Tumi, Mnqobi Nxumalo, My manager Njabulo Raza, Morris Sibanda (a friend), My Father (my superman), my uncle and most importantly God. All these people inspire me in unique ways, thus me choosing to do gospel.
CM: Does this specific genre have an impact in your life or it’s Just A talent?
CK: My music is my testimony and a lot of what I sing about is my life experience with God. I also sing about life issues and my goal of spreading motivation, hope and love.
CM: In brief, how has your journey been in the music career?
CK: I have sung with different church groups and a late friend of mine, Ndumiso Manombe, used to tell me to go solo. At first I resisted this until I met my current manager Njabulo Raza who saw my talent and took a lot of time to convince me to go solo. I eventually agreed and we started working on a single which was then released with other songs making it an EP album.
CM: What are some of the negative/positive vibes you received from family and friends after choosing gospel as a path?
CK: The overall vibe from family and friends has always been positive They have seen me through the journey from aspiring to actually being what I am today. Negatives have been there but I always choose to overlook them and see the positives.
CM: Which is your favourite track in ThE album and why?
CK: That would be ‘Eyes of your heart’. This is because to me, the song is more than just a song; it is a sermon. It’s a summary of a human’s life. We wrote the song after a reflection of our personal lives and what we were going through at that time. I was appreciating how God had been there and consistent in my inconsistencies.
CM: WHat have beenYour highs and lows in the industry?
CK: One of my highs was going to South Africa to record my music and meeting Riffi Wacho, one of the underrated music producers. He even featured on one acapella track. Most amazing was recording in a studio owned by Lira. Another high was hearing my music play on national radio and making waves on various national newspapers. My low was when I got invited to feature in a concert, I accepted but I was not feeling well. I had tonsils and my voice was terrible.
CM: What are your thoughts about the current situation in the Gospel industry, specifically in Zimbabwe?
CK: The gospel industry is not what it should be. The industry is on its knees in regards to coverage. Artists cannot afford studio time and the economic situation has highly affected the industry. There are so many talented people who cannot make it in the industry because of the scarcity of sponsorships and poor returns. On the positive, people are highly appreciative of the modern gospel sound and that really gives me hope. The industry has high and high potential.
CM: In your own opinion what is your take on the role played by the media in this industry?
CK: Media plays a fundamental role because it enhances artist exposure thus promoting their brand. Media is a major pillar in the industry. It provides an access platform for the product to be exposed to the world.
CM: I understand you are now a dad, Congrats! How has that changed you as a person?
CK: My son is Lonwabo Alwande. Realities have changed and now I have a bigger purpose to live for. I enjoy seeing him grow and look forward to daddy-son activities. My perception of life has changed. I now have matured in decision making. (Smiling)
CM: Delineate the role played by your special someone and son?
C.K: Her name is Melody Ncube; she is my best friend and has made sure I am grounded. She is a private person and inspires me by her sense of humility. Her and my son, are surely a reflection of God’s love. They have made me realise that love is real.
CM: How do you balance school, music and family, and your plan after graduation?
CK: I am doing my last year at University and when schools are open school is priority. When school closes it’s more about music. Family is a support system and make time for family throughout. I want to settle down with my family, get a job and focus on my music career. I have intentions to go across the border where there are better opportunities
CM: Your fears in life – be it school, life or career.
CK: My fears are dying before seeing my son growing to be a man. I also fear having a music career that has no impact in the world and no value to God. I fear losing direction.
A message to his peers:
“Push through the pain. Do what you love. Serve God and he will save you. If you were to change something in your generation what will it be – mindset or mentality. We can achieve more if we put our minds to what we want. Young people lack drive and lose themselves in things that add no value to life”
Below is his favourite track and one of his own, titled “Eyes of your heart” from his album Eyes of your heart.