Talking about religion and in my context Christianity is a sensitive topic which requires one to tread very carefully. The danger is that you may either rub people the right way or the wrong way. I intend to do neither in this blog. The issue under microscope is Gospel musicians and their interaction with what are known as “Secular” events. We have had Ephraim and Kings 'Malembe Malembe' refusing to have any part to do with the Mosi Awards because it is a brewery. Then recently there has been the talk of Mag44’s performance at Nigerian musician Ice Prince Concert. These two incidents have polarised opinions. This begs the question, what can and cannot a Gospel musician do?
Ephraim and Kings had their reasons for not being part of the Zambian Music Awards aka Mosi Awards because they did not want to be associated with the brewery. They did not want their names attached to anything alcohol related. Ephraim went even further by asking the public not to vote for him for any of the awards. Other Gospel musicians nonetheless, went ahead and participated in the Mosi Awards and the winners accepted the awards. Both Ephraim and Kings’ decisions need to be respected and it was a personal decision. However, it appears that those Gospel musicians who attended are being crucified by some in the Christian community for what is being perceived as ungodly behaviour and mixing with the devil’s work.
The Mosi Awards also had their own drama with many considering the winner of the Gospel award winner Pompi as not being a Gospel musician. What is the definition of a Gospel musician? Does the name of Jesus or God have to be mentioned in every song, or does the song have to have Hallelujah and Amen for it to be considered Gospel music? Then perhaps it could be zeroing in down to preference. There are those who do not want Hip Hop to be affiliated to Gospel music and some also do not want the Rhumba style of singing either. People who have done this have been accused of compromising with the “world”.
Then recently, the incident that has been causing uproar in the Christian community is the performance of Gospel artist, Mag44 at Ice Prince Concert during the Easter weekend at LIV nightclub. Some people have condemned his performance there as being unchristian and doubting whether he really is a Gospel artist. He has even been rebuked publicly on Facebook by radio presenter and Gospel artist Jimmy Kumwenda.