Jah Prayzah’s ‘Muchinjiko’: Mashavi or Gospel?

Following Christ is not easy, real Christians face criticism, mockery, all sorts of trials and tribulations every day. Sometimes their hearts are tempted to give in, muchinjiko unomborema.

‘Muchinjiko’ is thus a cry. ‘Muchinjiko’ is very much a Gospel song.  It is one chorus sang when being ‘called’ is tough in a world marred with evil and negativity. When carrying the cross has just become too heavy a task.

By Rodrick Simba Mazoyo

Matthew 27:46; About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” ,which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”. Jesus even cried at some point and in Kutonga kwaro, Jah Prayzah does the same, he cries to Jehovah.

The song’s lyrics say it all and the sound is very African as it equally Christian. God does not want us to lose our identity mind you. He wants us to follow, serve and worship him through Christ, period! Our own sound and instruments are the ones which we should use to praise God. Just as David used the harp in Israel, here, Tapfuma and Marwei must also use their mbira to unravel their love for the same God.

Oh…did you know; Christianity was brought to Africa not to take away our identity, but to nurture our souls through the holy trinity; The Father, Son and Holy Spirit. In song, God simply wants us to praise, worship and talk to him, he doesn’t want us to lose our Africanness. He created us and he wants us to worship him in the most genuine manor. Any other notion, to me is thus deception.

Were the bible mentions the harp or trumpet, there is no harm in a Zimbabweans placing a mbira or hosho, they are instruments after all! Our instruments are even purer if you ask me. They are closer to nature.

Jah Payzah’s family church, The United Methodist; like a number of other Zimbabwean traditional churches, is common for musically maintaining and upholding our culture as Zimbabweans. The wooden drum(ngoma) and shakers(hosho) have been a major component of their music.

Jah Prayzah is a Methodist! He was born and bred in a United Methodist family were that traditional sound was religiously used to praise Jehovah. It was inevitable for him to do a track from his church at one point. Remember Oliver Mtukudzi even did a whole album from his own church hymn book, The Methodist Church in Zimbabwe (Whisiri)?

‘Muchinjiko’ is a chorus which was common among the old folk of the United Methodist Church. It is so deep and rich in the African traditional sound that it really tinkles sacred parts of the heart. It sounds very spiritual and is indeed spiritual. In this case, Christian and holy. Let’s embrace it and talk to God through it.

God loves us with our identity, God Loves our skin, body shapes, musical taste and all that we have. Mbira, hosho, magavhu nezvipendani, ndezvaMwari. Kana muchinjiko warema, musatye kumuudza nenziyo. Do not be deceived, God accepts Africanness.

(For collaborations and partnerships in any project involving creative writing, Mazoyo is reachable on email: rodysimba@gmail.com or whatsapp +263732122419)




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