Musician Fungisai Zvakavapano-Mashavave revealed that she is “not a gospel artiste and never wanted to be classified as such”. The story attracted a lot of interest and as they say in social media lingo, it “went viral”.
Below are some selected responses from readers’ feedback. …..
Fungisai if you think of re-branding yourself just do it quietly, stop pointing fingers at other people. You introduced yourself to us some years back as a gospel musician, do not even try to convince us that some producer arm-twisted you into it. You carried that gospel artiste face for years because people had fallen in love with you as a gospel artiste and you were enjoying the limelight. It is only now that your fame as a gospel musician is gone that you start blaming other people. When it suited you ,were okay with being known as a gospel artiste. If you think singing in bars and night clubs will rekindle your popularity, do it quietly. This world will never run short of gospel musicians. — KN
It is an honourable thing you have done – deciding that you cannot live a lie all your life and coming out in the open that you are not a Christian and that you were in it just for money. We will wait and see kuti zvemashavi zvekuridza mbira zvichakupa chibhanzi here. — Muverengi
People in Zimbabwe should just learn to take responsibility for their actions. Church people did not box you up. You presented yourself as a gospel musician for years and marketed yourself as such.
If one is to be blamed it is you and your producer because you confused the market.
If you are re-branding yourself, strategise until you find a perfect formula, not seeking sympathy from people and attacking non-existent enemies to your career. Sit down, plan and come out with the right image you want to sell to the market. It’s business right? We the church people are not out to get you. — Opinion Tarwei
Fungisai sounds so bitter and very ungrateful. l hope this does not come back to bite her. My advice to her is to find out who she is first as a person. Do not live for us, ita hupenyu hwako. — Mutsawashe
Fungisai is being misconstrued. I do not think she is a musician because she is a Christian. She was just born a musician and cannot be limited by religion. Same as Alick Macheso and Nicholas Zakaria who have never been branded gospel artistes yet on almost all their albums since they were together up to today, the musicians are known to include songs that have a strong believers’ message, praising the Lord, the creator of the earth and heavens. So it is about people’s perception but talents should never be limited by religions. Siyai mwanasikana aite zvaanogona nechipo chaakapihwa na Nyadenga. — DK
All I can say is she is a confused little girl who needs to be saved. Shoko harisati rapinda maari. You will know them by their fruit . . . sleeping in a garage does not turn one into a car. Church elders help her please – mweya wotatarika ari mupenyu here? Fingietian
There is no need to tell us all this. Just do what you decide. Why do I have a feeling that you are feeling guilty and want to defend your actions. Follow the inner person and when you do that you will not have any explaining to do. – Boss Truth
This is just an attempt by the writer to scandalize Fungisai. What she is saying is clear. She is first of all a musician. As an artiste, it is not too hard to understand her. This thing is not about money. After all, she is likely to make more by sticking to the gospel track. The challenge is that people start criticising her when she sings with Killer T. That is so wrong. Regai aridze mbira coz she is a mbira artiste. Regai aimbe zvaanoda. Do not try to scare her with the Bible because you are not God. God gave her this talent and what better place to use it than to bring in those who are in the dark by breaking into their realm and singing the love of God to them? Tapiwa
Fungisai we hear you loud and clear. Whoever wants to be judgemental to you is wrong. It is unfortunate when you started as a young girl the producer limited you to one type of music. It is time to explore your gift and go into different dimensions. That does not mean you are forsaking God, it is a career path you always dreamt of. — Lah
Go for it as long as you do not follow the devil, being a musician should not limit you to one type of music. Mhofu Pathetic! This is unbelievable. The Christian world is shocked by this revelation. May the good Lord deliver our beloved sister from the rulers of this world. — Mema Zimbo
I knew from day one kuti kuimba gospel aitsvaga zhunde. Tingamudii ari kutsaga kurarama? Zvaka fanana naTsvangirai anenge akuti ini ndiri we Zanu I was forced to form MDC neimwewo girlfriend yangu. — Steve Nyoka
It is difficult to shake off a label that society will have glued on you. Gospel artistes especially, are expected to be holier-than-thou and to preach to an “un-Godly” society, even though they may not be pastors. They are expected to be squeaky clean, with a snow-white heart.If they dare go “astray”, “gospel purists” will immediately crucify them on the nearest poplar tree like what used to happen to rebellious negros. That is the heavy burden carried by so-called gospel artistes, which does not shackle secular musicians like Macheso or Killer T. I presume if one dares to harvest from God’s holy estate then that is the pre-condition. I wonder how Rebecca Malope defied the odds because she sings gospel music despite leading an outrageously secular lifestyle without any apologies to anyone, yet South Africans have accepted her on her own terms! (She really must be a music genius!) One thing clear though is that Fungisai is a music star and no one can take that away from her regardless of what she does or sings. She reminds me of other music greats who went on to unshackle themselves from labels that the music fraternity had also glued on them, I am talking about Nat King Cole and George Benson who were perceived to be jazz artistes but they went on to greater heights by playing popular (pop) music and by so doing disappointing legions of jazz purists. I have also lost count of the number of times Earl Klugh has tried to explain to interviewers that he is not a jazz artist but merely a guitar player. Tafamutekwe
Fungisai is very controversial. Not so long ago when she was on her peak she declared that she would not share the stage with non-gospel artistes but when things started going bad, unashamedly we saw her hooking up with them to the extent of recording with Jah Prayzah and now Killer T. Now she is telling the world that she has never wanted to be a gospel artiste. This is a direct contradiction of what she said in her first video “Toita Zvedenga”.
Gospel music was in her blood, she started singing in ZAOGA church at a very early age.
The lies that she now peddles show her lack of respect to all music lovers and mostly to her fast dwindling fan base. It would have been better to say she has now ditched gospel in favour of other hot selling music genres rather than to say she has never liked the gospel genre yet gospel catapulted her to the superstar status. She dismally failed to maintain it due a number of factors, chief among them pride. Peter Date
I do not see a problem pana Fungisai. Ko madzibaba anoridza mumabhawa nekwese kwese wani? Sei musingasvori ana Madzibaba? Apa nekuti mukadzi, nxaaa ngaatosiya gospel. Izvi hazvina kana basa, music is music mhani it does not mean kuti kuenda kuchurch ndokuva munhu mutsvene. There are a lot of sinners in the churches, including pastors. Regai mwana aite zvinoda moyo wake ari kutsvaga mari. Vanhu vema church vajaira kuda kuridzirwa mahara forgetting kuti vaanoridza navo vanoda kubhadharwa. Iye Fungisai anodawo kudya.Regie Shumba Mavhunga Fungisai facts are very stubborn, you cannot have people running your life and branding you. You have the freedom to say you are an artiste and a Christian, that’s it. Live in your truth and show the world that this is who you are. Farai Maveneke
Whatever Fungisai, you are a failure! A drowning career, which you want to keep afloat by singing with Mtukudzi, Jah Prayzah and now Killer T! Hahahaha that is failure at its worst! Stand on your own two feet and talent, not leaning on the success of other women’s husbands.
Kuzemberana nana Jah Prayzah, Mtukudzi etcetera, they are married men. She has been in the industry long before some of these artistes, very soon she might start singing “Disappear” with Winky D. Oh Fungisai! — Sylvia Nyamatsanza
Using coloured people in a derogatory way as an example of her situation clearly reflects an element of evilness, racial insensitivity and ignorance. It is so ancient and backward, talking negatively about races. President Obama is indisputably the most popular President in the world accepted by both blacks and whites. In Botswana, President Khama was accepted and he is ruling the whole black nation. Where is Fungisai getting her information? — Coram Mushuta
Ndakamuona Fungisai uyu anoda kupinda muma firimu. The roles that she will be playing will contradict her gospel artiste perception. Bible rinoti zviri nani dai usina kumboziva Mwari pane kuti wozoda kumuramba nekuda kwekutsvaga mari here, 1 Timothy 6 vs 10. — Knowledge Chamboko
People do not like people who are honest! Well done Fungisai, it takes guts to boldly state the truth. Focus on your career, not what people say. I will always listen to your music. Forget Choto I love this woman, she is telling the truth and being honest. Singing gospel music or loving gospel music does not make one a church person. Fungisai has a talent and passion for gospel music, but she is not deep into church. It is quite normal.
A lot of people who drink alcohol and get up to no good love listening to gospel music, just like a lot of the churchgoers. Fungisai is not a failure she is being versatile in music by singing with other artistes. I do not know why some people are judging her harshly for it.
— Munyaradzi Sansole