By Sam Banda Jnr:
Ethel Kamwendo-Banda’s song ‘Ndiumboni’, which put her in the limelight in the gospel music arena after dumping secular ,tells it all: for her to be where she is, it is God’s work.
She sings in the track, to every soul which is alive, to look back and thank God for everything.
The veteran gospel singer observes in the song that there are people in hospitals who are struggling with life but God has kept them healthy.
The year 2018 has seen Ethel come out to announce that she will launch three albums namely Moyo Wanga which was recorded by OBK, Worship CD recorded by her son Peter and Ndili pa Mnzere produced by Joseph Tembo.
This will be the first time, in her gospel music career, for her to launch three albums as in the past years she has been launching two albums.
Coming out with three albums is a clear testimony of the blessings that God has bestowed upon her but also the smooth journey He has made for her since she turned born again.
Her journey in music is no small feat as she started off in secular arena,where she had stints with Kamwendo Brothers in her early years.
This was the time she used to perform on stage barefoot and did not even have an idea that she would be uplifted to a celebrated gospel musician.
In fact her turning gospel was doubted by many people with others even saying she would not even last for long but return to secular.
But she said God had a purpose for her life and that is why she is still here today ministering His word through music.
Today Ethel has clocked 19 years in gospel music where she has managed to release 14 albums with her debut being Amen Yesu Wandimasula which laid the foundation.
Since 1999 when she dropped Amen Yesu Wandimasula, telling the world she had been rescued from the chains of Satan, Ethel has never looked back.
“It has been a great journey full of challenges, which will always be there, but I did not give up and God has shown love to me and the only gift I could give back to Him is to minister His word through music,” she said.
Married to Blessings— with whom she has three children, all boys— the singer said she has been out for close to eight years without releasing an album.
The last time she released albums was in 2010 when she dropped Zabwino Zonse and Chete “When I look back to the time I used to perform barefoot on stage to where I am now, I say thank you Lord. I am even happy because my son has followed in my footsteps and is the one who has produced my other album out of the three,” she said.
Her three albums will be launched at Bingu International Convention Centre in Lilongwe on November 30, Sunbird Mount Soche in Blantyre on December 7 and Squirrels Park in Mzuzu on December 23.
“During the launch, people will have a chance to listen to my story where I have come from to be where I am today. From a girl who used to sing barefoot on stage to a woman, who is able to sing while wearing beautiful shoes. I am now a pastor,” Ethel said.
As a pastor, Ethel said she goes to different places in the rural areas to minister the word of God through music.
“My interacting with people in the rural areas and urban made me come up with different songs in the three albums. So the three albums will reach out to everyone,” the gospel musician, said.
She said Moyo Wanga has 11 songs while the Worship CD recorded by her son Peter and has the song ‘Tate Ndinu Woyera’, has 13 songs with Ndili pa Mnzere having 12 songs.
“Everything will be different because during the launch, for instance in Lilongwe, I will share the stage with Marvelous Deeds and my son Peter. Apart from recording the Worship CD, I have also done a song with him titled ‘Zikomo’. And then he will also perform his own songs,” she said.
At the launch in Blantyre, Ethel will share the stage with Brenda Chombo Banda, her son Peter and poet Yankho Seunda.
“At first I was supposed to do two albums but I found myself in South Africa where I met Pastor Victor who sponsored an album. I had already started working on the two albums by then but I could not refuse such a gift so I decided to go in the studio to work on the third album,” Ethel said.
She said the style in the three albums is different and that it is a huge improvement.
“There is so much that is done to come up with an album, you spend a lot but today with piracy things are tough. You produce an album and then get nothing at the end,” the ‘ Ndinu Nokha’ creator, said.
She added: “In most cases, pirates benefit more than artists. I call upon people to refrain from buying pirated copies. I am happy that pirates are now being taken to task and this will help in pushing others out”.
Ethel also called upon the corporate world and the government to support the creative industry.
“As gospel artists, for example, we have a mission to preach the gospel through music, gospel music continue to preach to people and change their lives. Musicians are there to help develop nations, in music there is power,” Ethel said.
According to her, countries such as South Africa, Nigeria and Ghana are known out there because of art.
“Musicians are key in so many areas, the sing in different platforms such as churches, funerals, political rallies and provide entertainment through their songs on radio and television. Even in the Bible music is highly as a powerful weapon. Music brings peace and drives things forward,” she said.
Ethel said the country needs to take serious interest in art and give it the necessary support.
And as she looks ahead to launching the three albums, Ethel called upon people to patronise them as she is ready to worship God and on top of that also introduce her son Peter to the world but also give him to the body of Jesus Christ.
“During the launch, which is round one as I also intend to take it to other areas, I will also shoot a live DVD. For your information I have also worked on a video ‘Gwira Yesu’, where I have worked with Zionists,” he said.
Ethel said the video will be premiered on Monday.
“It is a song which has a lot of drumming and this is why I have worked with Zionists. All this is to bring out something special and people should watch the space for more videos,” she said.
A vibrant writer who gives a great insight on hot topics and issues