By Shingirayi Mugodi
First lady of Zim Gospel Mai Olivia Charamba says hard work and humility have taken her places.
She made this revelation at a time when Zimbabwe celebrated its 40th independence over the weekend.
Mai Charamba also gave hope to fellow women at a time when the world is battling to eradicate the coronavirus which has stalled many projects world over.
And being one of the influential women who uses her vocal ability to touch hearts of many, Mai Charamba said there is no short cut to the top other than hard work and focus coupled with prayer.
In an interview with H-Metro, Mai Charamba shared her piece of advice with fellow women.
“Matthew 11:28, Jeremiah 29:11 and John 14:1 are my main scriptures for them.
“I have also released songs like Ndiri Munana and Mwaka to strongly send a message to such people.
“Let us redefine success, it should not be competing with your neighbour, be content with what you have hoping for a better change for tomorrow,” she said.
On her secret to success as a gospel diva of repute, Mai Charamba said she owed it to God.
Mai Charamba also said she has managed to fully utilise her talent to express herself.
“With it (music talent) I continue to glorify God, it has won souls for Christ and also it has built up families, giving hope to the hopeless and energised the weak because it contains the word of God.
“Partially through thought it, I have experienced God’s provision such that I have been fed, clothed and sheltered.
“The music platform has also given me acceptability such that I can contribute positively to my fellow citizens who listen to me when I sing,” she told H-Metro.
Asked how it felt being a prominent figure in an industry which was known to be male-dominated, she said:
“It is humbling, I give glory to God for that.
“It feels great to be among a few who have been used by God to erase gender limitations.
“I am happy to have contributed towards the repositioning of women to their perspective space as it is supposed to be.
“When Jesus was born, he found women under oppression, liberated them but society covered them with dust once more, since the dark ages, thanks to their restoration once again.
“Music is no different, women in all spheres of life and industry are matching up men and so am I.”
BABA CHARAMBA FACTOR
Mai Charamba said she has also clicked with her husband Pastor Charles Charamba in the ministry work using music and now their church.
“Through grace, we have strived to make it work.
“There is a sense of satisfaction in me that I am fulfilling the purpose of my existence and it also feel greats to see my marriage in action home and away.
“I have been able to worship God and win souls for Christ without many restrictions because it is a family goal,” she said.
Asked how she managed to juggle her career, church duties, being a farmer, ambassador and being a mother she said:
“Since my entry onto the music platform, I value planning to this day for technology has made it easy and possible for musicians to do business in a time saving manner.
“Distribution and marketing of music has been evolving such that it has been demanding less physical involvement.
“We have therefore been able to do multi-tasking without experiencing too much pressure.”
Though she was once accused of riding behind her husband’s fame Mai Charamba said that the secret behind her success was just being herself.
“I have continued to be myself, majoring in what I can do best and leaving what I cannot do.
“I tow my line without any sinister agenda, with focus and determination, I continue to strive to sing a better song for the glory of God, for the benefit of my country and the world.
“I am proud of who I am and I do not compete with anyone including my husband,” Mai Charamba said.
“I value quality than quantity, which is testifies by the songs I have released to date, all of which have been widely received.
“Above all, God, prayer, persistence, discipline and submission have contributed to this success,” she added
She also opened up on what drives her to keep singing.
“It is a natural task and a divine calling, something I was born to do for I sing better than I talk.
“There is need for me to continue evangelising and worshipping through music.
“It is also my responsibility to teach on the values of Ubuntu as well as good morals of society through music.
“The impact the music has had on our listenership, the feedback including the testimonies has also motivated us,” she told H-Metro.
Mai Charamba said that there are many artistes that are coming on board and she is helping a lot of them mostly through mentorship and grooming.
Asked how supportive her husband is in relation to her singing career she said that he is the one who initiated her singing career.
“It is obvious by whom and what I am today that he is very supportive.
“But it is an understatement to say support as he is the one who initiated my musical career.
“He is the one who composes and produces my music,” Mai Charamba said.
The gospel artiste said that there are new projects that they are working on as well as videos.
Asked why she has been keeping a low profile, the gospel artiste said:
“The profile has never been low per-se, like any other artiste globally, I have been adjusting to the dynamics of the industry.
“Everything about music is changing, digitisation being driven by the internet has become the ‘in’ thing and I am fully aware.
“I have therefore taken a task of putting visuals on most of my songs and of course we are now involved in Church Ministry that is Rooted in Christ Ministries.”
She said that those female artistes who are itching for recognition should first and foremost value God.
“Firstly, they should value God, I encourage them all to be saved.
“There is nothing like ‘playing your cards right’ in this life and society, we need the guidance of the Holy Spirit regardless of your type of music.
“Females are still vulnerable and can be victims of those who claim to be their helpers in the production chain of music up to its marketing,” she said.
“They should avoid prospering at all cost, yet they should be very courageous, one needs to have a talent and good compositions to make it.
“It is not much about fashion, coming out on videos half naked, I would urge young girls to respect their bodies, do noble things that your family can be able to watch with others.
“Do not force matters on things that you are not well versed in, surround yourself with people who are of sober mind and informed, who give true, honest and sober advice,” Mai Charamba added.
As part of giving back to society, Mai Charamba said she conducts counselling sessions.
“I spend quite a lot of time and resources in that.
“I do counselling to a number of people with family or marriage challenges.
“My husband and I are involved with some of the Government ministries in this country among them Health, Home Affairs, Tourism and hospitality and Transport where we offer musical services, some in which we have been goodwill ambassodors.
“We have contributed substantially in the fight against those infected with HIV and we also continue to involve ourselves in traffic safety as well as criminal awareness,” she said.
Asked what role music can play in the independence of Zimbabwe she said:
“Music continues to play a vital role in preaching the gospel of peace and unity in an independent Zimbabwe.” H-Metro