The Chronicle

Wayne Chiridza, Showbiz Reporter

BULAWAYO’s Family Voices gospel group keeps making the country proud as they have survived another week at the Old Mutual Amazing Voices singing competition in Johannesburg, South Africa. 

The all-male group which is made up of Tinashe Chitsaka, Luke Kamanga, Ronald Sithole, Bobby James, Bazel Mafu and Brighton Ncube from Family of God (Fog) Church is the only remaining group from Zimbabwe after two others, Focus Accapella and Rhema were eliminated last month.

However, judging by the show’s judges’ comments, the group this past Sunday survived by a whisker as they were almost eliminated as they made bottom four. They performed Amy Grant’s Saved by Love which most judges felt was a bad song selection.

Although she felt the group performed well, judge, Ammara Brown was among those who did not like the song choice.

“I will be very honest. When I heard about the song choice, I was very concerned because it’s a very dull and boring song, but I have to say you managed to give it life,” she said.

EDM musician Ralf Gum from German who is the judges’ tiebreaker concurred with Ammara on the song choice.

“There were some wrong notes in the background. I think the song choice wasn’t good. It was far from amazing for me,” said Ralf Gum.

Filai Tuju,  a Kenyan judge was also not impressed by the song choice and clearly stated how the group was lucky not to be eliminated. 

“It was a very simple song. It’s a song you just want to watch a video of and not do a cover version. Never do that again. I think you guys just got lucky,” Tuju said.

Trigmatic, a judge from Ghana was however impressed by the group.

“Amazing delivery vocally today. I enjoyed the lead, it was beautiful for me. You really did well tonight,” he said.

With five groups left in the race for the US$100 000 prize money, Family Voices admitted that competition was getting stiffer by the day.

“The competition is now more challenging. It’s a good thing though as it has taught us pressure management, how to work hard as a team and to improve our vocal abilities,” one of the group’s members, Bobby James said yesterday.

He said the group was working extra hard as it is their hope to do the country proud at the Pan African competition which has three other countries, Ghana, Kenya and South Africa participating.

But in the event they do not make it to the finals, the group said they will use the exposure and vocal training they got from the show to better their group and make their music more appealing to the African continent. 

“Win or lose, Family Voices will continue with its ministry work. We’ve benefitted a lot from this competition through the exposure and mileage it has given us,” said James.

On Sunday, South Africa’s Africa Rise won the golden voice for the third time, making it one of the best groups in the competition thus far. Ghana’s Soul Street and Kenya’s Solid Rock Band bowed out of the race.

“It’s not a good feeling losing as we didn’t hit our target. It doesn’t mean that’s the last of us.  It’s the end of us here, but we’ll keep going and Africa will hear more of us,” said a group member of Soul Street.

Said Solid Rock band after being eliminated: “When we started this journey, we were just a worship group that used to sing, but when we got here, we explored as a team so it’s been a good journey.” The remaining six groups are Rhythm Ambassadors, Africa Rise, Simply Six, Wanavokali, The Recreators and Family Voices. – @waynecas