23 March 2012

Mkhululi Bhebhe Wa Joyous

Well after miraculously passing my "Ordinary" level studies, I then went on to St Columbas High School. This was a day school and the whole environment was a whole lot different from the entire boarding setup. There is not much to rememember from those days except that I lost my father just as I was doing my first year there. Although I had been raised by a single parent, my mother. The death of my father really hit me hard because I was only beginning to know him and with time I was slowly learning to forgive him for leaving us. You see when you are a bastard child (without a father) everybody just has their way with you. It was really hard growing up without a father and what made it even more painful was the fact that I knew he was alive but he never came looking for me. May his soul rest in eternal peace. Anyway those two years passed and just after finising that phase in my life I went on to work for a Railway company. Still bearing the scars of yesterday it was not easy to digest yet another major loss in my life. My sister passed on in November 2004 hardly 24 months after my father's passing. She was like a mother to me because she is the one who always attended my prize giving days at school and all those other meetings. She is the one who gave up a lot just to take care of us while mom went out to work. Up to this day I still can't get used to the reality that she is gone. I wonder the joy she would be having if she could only see me now. 

While still working for the railway company I was invited by one of my old friends from school to a church where someone had come up with an idea of forming an acapella singing group called the "Family Voices," I must make it clear that at that particular point in time I was extremely fragile. The point was just to attend church for the sake of singing in the group but to my surprise a few years later I had been transformed into a church loving person. The more I sang the more singing became my passion. It was not an easy walk in the park though because some days were just not as good as others. I remember a time when we were invited to be one of the opening acts at a concert in a Bulawayo local stadium and the crowd boed us before we even sang anything. They hurled all sorts of insults at us and what made it even worse was that I was the one who had been chosen to lead most of the songs that particular day. Surprisingly though, the moment we opened our mouths to sing there was total silence in the stadium. It was like somebody had just stepped in, removed the old crowd and placed a new one in its place. By the time we got to the last song, nobody wanted us to leave the stage anymore. Honestly guys, nomatter how much I try to beautify the situation its never an easy thing singing for a crowd that doesn't like you. Many such days followed and there were times when we would even fight amongst ourselves after singing dischord. We would go for weeks without talking to each other but every now and then we would find the courage to start from scratch. The more we sang at different places, the more I realised that one can never be loved by everybody. That's when I found out that the truest love any man could ever find is in Jesus Christ. 

In 2006 I had made a bit of a name for myself within the church circles. That is when a local talent search show was started and many of my friends at the time encouraged me to enter. With hesitation I did enter, though I only made it to the top 10 stage. I just didn't believe in myself that much at that time and I was treating music more like a hobby and I had never dreamt that one day I could ever make a living out of it. That phase passed and the following year my family encouraged me to give it one last try at the competition which was known as the "CBZ A Academy." With a lot of hesitation I did give it one more try and this time around I made it to the top 5. I think at that point the reality that I could actually be talented began to sink in. Each time I bumped into people and I heard them screaming with excitement I thought to myself "perhaps I am somebody, perhaps I have what it takes." The good people of my country supported me till the very end of the competition voting tirelessly for me. Unfortunately once again I came second best. 

In 2008 the following year I heard East and Southern African Idols was coming to town and I encouraged myself to enter the talent search competition. Still licking my wounds from the previous year. At the time I had absolutely no idea that was to be the competition that would change my life forever. Everything was going well for me workwise and I had just received yet another promotion. For the first time in my life I could afford to eat anything that I wanted to eat and I could afford all the things I couldn't afford while growing up. I had my own office and a good salary. When I entered the competition I really don't know what I was hoping to achieve because at the back of my mind all I wanted was to get to the top 24 stage. I am sure always coming second has a way of conditioning a person to be content with not winning. When I made it to the top 24 it was then that I had to travel yet again to Kenya because that is where the competiton was being held. The only problem was that I had to stay there for more weeks than what my leave days could cover. I was given an ultimatum at work to either stay on and continue with my job or quit everything I had worked so hard for and persue music. I chose music, without any doubt or hesitation in my mind. After such a story one would then expect that I won the competition but nope, it didn't happen...I was voted out at the top 6 stage. 

I travelled back home with a very broken heart and wounded pride. I had no job to go back to. I used the llittle consolation money we had received from idols and for the first time in my life I bought a car, which I later on sold within a few months because the bills just kept piling up. There was just nowhere else to turn to. The friends who had drawn closer while I was still the star of the show drew farther away with every passing day. Its amazing how people associate themselves with you when you are sitting on top of the world but the moment trouble appears, you wonder where everybody vanishes off to. Despite all that, I still found comfort in a mother who shows me love even when the whole world seems to have walked away. I was heavily depressed for a long time and at some point even contemplated suicide, but the love of God kept me. Take note dear friends that at the time I was not yet a born again believer, I was a church goer. But still the love of God was sufficient even for a sinner like me. When I look back over my life. I thank God for that phase. It really humbled me. It stripped away all the foolish pride I had inside of me. It taught me to appreciate the simple things in life like love and family. It taught me valuable lessons pertaining to the love of Jesus Christ. It showed me that though gross darkness may surround you, he is still the light that will shine in your life. I thought that was the end of me. Even people who had believed in me before lost hope. Some called me a fool for quiting my job. Some asked me who I thought I was when I chose music over a stable salary. I was the joke of the town. I felt naked each time I walked in town being seen by those who once knew me as a guy who had made it in life. The tears I cried to God asking him how this could be can never be explained. I believed and hoped till I stopped hoping anymore.
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