By Esther Madambi
Gospel diva Janet Manyowa needs no introduction with gospel fans. The award-winning singer’s career continues to burn a trail of success with each passing day.
She has also become the most sought after diva both locally and abroad as she renders her services at church conferences, weddings and corporate functions.
Janet has also caught the attention of UK based diva Ivy Kombo who praised her on social media.
H-Metro reporter ESTHER MADAMBI (EM) had a chat with the diva (JM) who was also humbled by the praises she got from Ivy.
She also opened up about her career, rivals, love life, Inspire 20 project and the forthcoming Worship Summit where she is the headlining act. Read on…
EM: How do you feel being praised on social media by Ivy Kombo, who is perceived to be your rival?
JM: Well this is news to me. You are actually the first person to tell me and I’m quite surprised.
I was not expecting it not because she seems to be my rival as you have said but because she never said anything of that sort to me.
We have never talked actually and knowing that she listens to my music it’s something I never thought of or imagined my entire life.
EM: What have you learnt from Ivy despite her controversial past?
JM: To me she is a gospel guru, I respect the way she strived through the controversies and made it to the top where she is right now.
I respect her despite her past. I do not judge people especially with their past experiences.
However, I learned that yes it’s the voice that speaks but also the voice has to match with the heart mind and soul.
The message cannot be delivered as half-baked cake if u know what I mean.
Gospel music is different from love music, you can sing love song which are very touching when you are not in love and the world will accept it but you cannot sing gospel music with a controversial lifestyle, people will never accept.
EM: When did you last speak to her?
JM: We have never talked. As I have said, I’m actually surprised that she mentioned my name.
EM: Given a chance, would you like to work with her?
JM: Yes I would, I have no problem with that.
It will be an honour. She has experience and she has been in the industry for a very long time.
I’m sure I will learn a lot of things from her.
EM: Being one of the female artists ruling the roost, how do you intend to maintain the touch?
JM: Firstly, I respect my partners, I respect humanity. I treat others the same way I want to be treated.
I honour my work and my music and I would not want to ruin what I have worked for.
When it’s time for business, I make sure I keep it business strictly and when it’s not then I also keep it that way.
EM: And what’s the trick behind you remaining consistent?
JM: God. This is not my work, its God’s work, so whatever I do I just have to remind myself that this is not mine, its assignment which I have to do no matter what and quitting is not an option.
Apart from that, the way I inspire people give the strength and power to get up each and every day and continue with what I started.
EM: What are your plans for the second half of the year?
JM: I have started working on a new album but I’m not sure is I am going to release it this year or early next year.
But there is a single that I am going to release very soon, I am still working on it but it will be out very soon.
EM: Why do you think promoters are shunning gospel artistes, considering most of you now prefer performing at church conferences?
JM: Well, I can’t really say there are gospel promoters, there are promoters in the industry.
It’s not like they are shunning away really, they are there but the current economy is not that favourable, which has then become a problem.
Gospel music is different from other genres that we have.
It’s very easy to generate money when you are not a gospel artiste unlike when you are gospel artiste.
Usually most of our concerts are free, if they are not the entry fee will be very little, so promoters tend to put more to those who pay back.
EM: Is your husband comfortable with you working with other men musically?
JM: My husband is very supportive and yes he is very comfortable with me working with male musicians.
We trust each other and we love each other. We never had problems over this issue.
EM: What influence does your husband have in your career?
JM: He is my husband, my other half so he has influence in whatever I do in my life.
He is always there for and he also help in the work, decision making and many other things.
His efforts have been helping me very much and I appreciate that.
EM: Apart from working on your music and your own career, what else have you done?
JM: A lot of things, currently I have an initiative that I’m running called Inspire 20.
Inspire 20 is just a small event were I get to me 20 upcoming female artiste which I get to mentor and help with different things that and in any way I can.
I choose 20 ladies randomly and get to meet them and talk over lunch.
Inspire 20 stated last year on my birthday and this year will be our second year and the event will be held on the 20th this month at Cresta lodge
EM: Why choosing female artists only?
JM: I’m inspiring my very own. I am a lady and I honour ladies. But we are planning on including males as we progress.
EM: I heard that you will be performing at the Worship Summit this coming weekend, are you ready?
JM: I am very ready and excited at the same time.
But on the same note, I would like to send my condolences to the families of those who lost their lives in a fatal accident with Apostle Java’s wife. We will remember them with respect at the Worship Summit.
EM: Thank you for your time!
JM: You are welcome. H-Metro