Patience Namadingo is one youthful musicians in the country who has made strides in the creative industry since he rebranded his music.
The artist has performed in different places showing the best of his music and comedy which is the other side of his art which he is yet to exploit fully.
Apart from music and comedy, Namadingo has also played master of ceremonies in some events.
As a comedian, he has had a chance to spice up shows involving the country’s United Kingdom-based comedian Daliso Chaponda.
He has shown through his comics that he is talented and that it was just a matter of time before he goes far with it although music will always stand out for him.
The artist also strengthened his position in the music industry recently when he took time out to curtainraise for United States of America-based group The Temptations.
In April this year, he played master of ceremonies at the launch of Castel beer organised by Castel Malawi at Sunbird Capital in Lilongwe where some quarters went to town criticising him for partaking at such a show and yet he was a ‘gospel’ musician.
But some defended Namadingo saying he had just been hired for his services at the event as a master of ceremonies and that he was not on the wrong side.
“I was hired as a master of ceremonies to drive the show and that was what I was doing,” the musician said then.
Some of his past albums where there were songs such as ‘Mtendere’, Patience focused much on ‘gospel’ music but, having rebranded, the artist has moved on to drop songs which some have deemed not ‘gospel’.
Some quarters have even gone on to ask him to explain as to which side he was, whether he was a gospel musician or not.
Some time back, some gospel musicians refused to perform at a festival organised by Tamanyawaka Chavula after they indicated they were ‘gospel’ musicians and hence would not be able to share the stage with secular musicians let alone perform at a stage which was not gospel.
Sentiments which have come up in some forums are that the country has at times been harsh on musicians as far as gospel is concerned.
“We have artists who do perfect music which is spiritual but because they are in secular, some people do not deem it gospel. We need to sober up on this. Gospel goes beyond,” Gilbert Tembo, a fan said.
Namadingo is on the ground at the moment working on his new album titled Ya Symon which is set for launch later this year.
But as he finalises his 15-track album, the musician famed for other songs such as ‘Msati Mseke’, has already dropped some singles.
He first released ‘Vinyo’ before coming out with ‘Ng’wii Ng’wii’.
Since he dropped ‘Ng’wii Ng’wii’, the musician has received what he described as an overwhelming response.
However, the song talks more about love and some people have described it as a secular track and not ‘gospel’.
In the song, Namadingo has gone deeper to bring a message of love and hit at some men who do not value their partners and end up going for multiple partners.
In the song, he warns the men who are in such a trade that they will cry out loud at the end when their partners dump them.
“I think Patience Namadingo needs to come out clear to us his fans as to whether he is still in gospel or he has now turned secular, which side of the coin are you,” wrote one of the fans on social media.
Namadingo, who has been courting different festivals of late and recently performed in Zimbabwe, said he was aware of some people’s concerns about his music.
The singer and guitarist opened up saying he does not want his music to be described as just gospel anymore.
“I have realised I am an artist,” Namadingo said.
He said there were so many things he would like to talk about.
“I would love to talk about education, I would like to talk about the well-being of a human being and if you limit me that I should only talk about the Bible or the afterlife, then I will not be happy, so I want to talk about different things,” Namadingo said.
He described himself as an inspirational musician and that he is inspirational as compared to just being gospel.
“I know there are gospel musicians who do 100 percent gospel music and I am not one of them right now. I do 50 percent gospel music and 50 percent inspirational, I would like to inspire people in this life about their development and their well-being,” he said.
Namadingo said it was in this same vein that in his latest album Ya Symon he is tackling different issues.
“In some of the songs, I am talking about love and how people have to treat each other. In short, I don’t want to talk about the Bible only, I want to talk about life issues and if that does not make me a gospel artist, then I am not one,” he said.
Namadingo said he believes there are lots of issues that needs to be tackled using music, hence not restricting himself to only gospel.
“This is why I indicated earlier that I do 50 percent gospel and 50 percent inspirational and I hope people will understand how I am doing things now. This is what I have done in my latest album,” he said.
Patience might be in the limelight but there are other artists, who have also moved out of the same trend to come up with songs that tackle various issues despite being fully gospel artists.
Recently, musician Lawrence Khwitsa, popularly known as Lulu, also released his sixth album titled Better in Your Arms which has a combination of gospel and secular music.
Lulu said he is always inspired when he works on gospel songs.
“I have always come up with gospel songs but because people associate me with secular, they look at some of my songs as not gospel. There are songs you talk about love and love is something you find God talking about fully,” he said.
And to sum it up, people can choose which side of the coin they want Namadingo to be but he is destined to talk about other issues in his songs and inspire people apart from drawing much of the issues in the Bible.