BY MOSES MUGUGUNYEKI

JAZZ gospel musician Rumbi Chikuwe, aka Ru Jazz, says she will continue to use music to minister the Word of God despite the ravaging COVID-19 pandemic.

The youthful musician-cum-entrepreneur told NewsDay Life & Style that she has more in store for her fans over the next five days.

“In the next five years, my vision is to record and release at least three albums, live DVD recordings and music videos,” the South Africa-based musician said.

“I also intend to collaborate with local and regional artistes, as well as do local and international tours.”

Born in a Christian family in Norton, Ru Jazz has come up with an inimitable gospel sound born out of unique sonorities of contemporary instruments.

“My music is highly influenced by the jazz sound, with the saxophone being the main instrument, creating a unique brand of music that a few local musicians are focusing on,” she said.

She said her strong Christian background influenced her path of ministering the Word of God.

“I grew up with a passion for music and I was raised in a Christian family. We used to attend the Apostolic Faith Mission in Zimbabwe,” she said.

“My inspiration comes from my passion to minister the gospel of Jesus Christ through music. My inspiration also comes from the music of Amai Shingisai Suluma, it is music that always soothes our hearts and revives our spirits whenever we listen to it as a family.”

The gospel diva, who relocated to South Africa soon after completing her high school, also paid tribute to the late superstar Oliver Mtukudzi, whom she said “inspired the Afro-jazz sounds in my music.”

“The late Dr Oliver Mtukudzi, Baba naMai Charamba and Takesure Zamar Ncube and lately Janet Manyowa are a great inspiration too. I am learning a lot from them.”

With an album and a single under her belt, Ru Jazz started singing from a tender age backed by her family.

“Back in the day, we used to gather to worship as a family, my parents and my three siblings and used to enjoy this. I also began to participate in musical groups in primary school and choirs at high school,” she said.

“I then moved to South Africa and I was fortunate to find a church which became my biggest platform to worship in praise teams and grow both spiritually and as an artiste.

“I later started writing my own songs with the hope to record at some stage and spread the gospel of Jesus Christ.

“I got an opportunity to work with Tsitsi Kudita Chawasarira as a backing vocalist and this turned out to be an opportunity to learn as I got exposure in the different churches where we were invited to sing.”

In December 2015, Ru Jazz took a solo path and released her debut album titled Ndiwo Maitiro Enyu.

“The project did not do well as I expected, but I learnt so much from it. After this album, I took a break for a while as I focused on my studies,” she said.

“Last year when the world was affected by COVID-19, the Holy Spirit gave me a song of hope which I worked on and released in August. The song is titled Haana Kuwomerwa and features Blessing Jeduthun and this marked my return to the music industry.”

She said the COVID-19 affected her career as she was looking forward to a follow-up single to Haana Kuomerwa on top of her passion of ministering the Word of God.

“I was not able to release the follow-up single to Haana Kuomerwa that I had promised my fans due to the COVID-19-induced lockdowns,” she said.

“The lockdowns also saw churches being closed for the greater part of the year which denied us opportunities to minister. In 2020 I only managed to minister at one live event.

“However, the lockdowns have forced us to find alternative platforms to minister. We have turned to social media and I hosted my first ever Facebook live event which was the launch of my single Haana Kuomerwa. I also had a number of interviews on various radio stations in Zimbabwe and South Africa as well as on social media platforms.”

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