Social commentator and talk show presenter Rebecca Chisamba said everyone propagating unsubstantiated negative criticism on Fungisai Zvakavapano-Mashavave must “calm down” as they are fighting her children and family.
Fungisai has been attacked left, right and centre on social media due to her dressing and association with Zimdancehall artists.
On Thursday, Chisamba, who is popularly known as Mai Chisamba, said it was unfortunate that the singer was a victim of cyber-vilification which she herself fell prey to in 2012.
“As a mother, my role is not to take sides because judging is for God, but at this point people should understand that whether right or wrong, Fungisai has a family,” said Mai Chisamba.
“If the vilification continues, it will affect her children, husband and family because in the process of attacking her, people will be fighting her family.”
Mai Chisamba added that apart from affecting Fungisai’s self-esteem, her children were likely to get affected psychologically at school.
Although she could not say if Fungisai’s dressing was morally-acceptable, Mai Chisamba hinted that there was need to “be careful, dress decently and wear something that does not attract negative attention”.
She, however, insisted that Zimbabweans should help Fungisai in this “conversion phase” of her life instead of traumatising her for changes which might be beneficial.
“Let us assist her in the transition she has chosen. Attacking is not right because, maybe she has a good reason and in the end she needs to sustain her life with music as well,” she said.
Music critic Fred Zindi echoed the same sentiments, saying the unwarranted attacks emanated from judgemental people who associated gospel lyrics with righteousness.
“Fungisai does not deserve the vilification she is currently facing from critics because there are no boundaries to gospel music…you can take Zimdancehall and punctuate it with Hallelujah or Amen and it becomes gospel,” Zindi said.
He implored the songstress to soldier on, adding that it was actually a good spell as she had hogged the limelight musically with the high-riding track Vanondibatirana, which features Zimdancehall sensation Killer T.
“She is a musician who exploits all possible channels of reaching the public and making money through music. As a matter of fact, she has become more popular after releasing Vanondibatirana,” he said.
Zindi commended Fungisai for managing to spread the Christian message to a wider spectrum by engaging in a way which will see the lyrics affecting even those who do not go to church.
When contacted for comment on Thursday, Fungisai said she was unable to talk to The Standard Style because of her busy schedule, opting to comment next week.
For the first time in more than a decade’s success of her gospel music career, Fungisai has tasted the sour fruits of fame, largely driven by her decision to try Zimdancehall. However, she is not the first gospel artist to “dine” with secular singers.
She is neither the first nor the last musician to collaborate with Zimdancehall artists as the Favour hit-maker Mathius Mhere did the same with Killer T, while Bethany Pasinawako did a promising hit single with Tocky Vibes titled Chiyedza.