The Post Newspapers Zambia
By Wana Kalala on Friday 02 September 2011, 11:59:00 CAT (6922 Reads)
BEST known for unique style of rhumba worship lyrics and music, Jojo Mwangaza is arguably the pioneer of the genre on the Zambian music market.
The Congolese-born singer-songwriter, whose repertoire includes the albums Tehila, Rejoice Relax Jehovah is in control, 4x4 Teti munkwanishe and Hakuna Matata na Yesu, was nominated for a Kora Award for best spiritual male artiste. He left Zambia in 2006 to pursue his music as well as academic career in Norway.
Last in Zambia in December 2009, Mwangaza returned to the country on Saturday to minister at the annual Bread of Life Word Explosion conference. On the cusp of releasing his next career album, Mwangaza spoke about recent developments in his life and ministry.
What have you been doing since your last visit to Zambia, in terms of ministry?
Everything is moving well by the grace of God. I was working on my latest project that I have. That one is finished… it's going to be out, I think next week, if everything goes well as I planned. So far everything is perfect. It's good for me to be back in Zambia. This is my place. I'm happy.
Which city are you based in in Norway?
I live two hours from Oslo.
Apart from the music, is there anything else you are doing in Norway?
Yes, yes. I'm doing machine engineering; that's the other side of Jojo, I'm not just a musician. I'm trying to finish up with studies while I'm working on private life.
Have you kept in touch with the local music ministry?
Yes, yes. I always keep contact, I always call people and I always check on Zambian gospel music. That's a passion I have, something that I'm carrying in my heart for Zambian gospel music, so I try to do my best where I can.
You mentioned that you're studying machine engineering…
Yes, in two years I'm doing my masters. I've been studying it for a long time.
Do you intend to go into that fulltime after you complete, or will you continue with the ministry?
Still more, right now I work in Norway too, but that's just the other side of life, but the ministry I'm fulltime.
Concerning the new project; this is your latest project after 'Hakuna Matata na Jesu'. What can you tell us about the forthcoming project?
This album is a process I started with Jehovah is in control, 4x4, Hakuna Matata. It's like a move I started, so it's not yet the end. The project now, I'm in a place where I said, "Watch me, nkumbu yaisula (my cup runneth over)". That means this is what the Lord is doing now in my life.
In full the album is talking about this guy that everybody did not consider as somebody, (someone) who has got no value, but today God has done something new for him, and this guy just changes. I call it like a turning point where God changes everything because like the Bible says, the Lord will set a table in front of your enemies and your cup will overflow. This is what I'm talking about in the album. So you need to value everybody because the Bible says there's hope for everybody that believes in the Lord. This is what I'm singing in the new album,...giving people hope and encouraging them.
Are we seeing a Zambia launch at some point?
Yes before December. I have got so many things to do here. I have a long programme before December.
How was your experience the last time you were here after having been away for some time?
It was wonderful; people were blessed. Even myself I was blessed because the ministry was powerful. I could see the hand of God in the concert where, wherever we went Ndola, Kitwe, here in Lusaka everybody was happy. It was wonderful.
You're considered a pioneer in terms of the type of gospel music that you perform in Zambia. What do you consider the future of this type of music in this country?
Not only on the gospel music side; what I've said is that artistes in Zambia have to keep a picture of Zambia in their music because the music has to sound somewhere that this is Zambian gospel music. People have to keep their identity and they have to try to improve on (their music), and to show everyone that this is Zambian gospel music, this is Zambian music. But they have to have a special tune for Zambia, not something like we are copying.
What do you do in your spare time, beyond music?
I play tennis and I'm a fan of watching golf too much.