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Gospel ensemble Free to Worship pulls off showstopper in London

In full voice ... Free to Worship band member Patience Baffour

04/10/2016 00:00:00
by Tidi Kwidini
South Africa-based ormer Joyous Celebration singer Ntokozo Mbambo

LONDON: Gospel powerhouse Free to Worship (FTW) produced another stellar concert, with fans dubbing it the concert of the year.

The multi-talented group was in truly magnificent form, turning the Dominion Centre Theatre into a festive venue and achieving a passionate, powerful and smooth performance that created an irrefutable aural atmosphere.

The live concert, labelled Project Restoration, was mainly a showcase for their 5th DVD and audio album and also a testament that they were back for the long haul.

The set lasted just over 90 minutes with the crowd being mesmerized by a dozen songs both old and new. These included performances from longstanding member Dumi Ncube who dazzled the audience with his self-written song “Nzvee”, and a powerful rendition from the youngest member of the group Elizabeth Mhlanga.

More songs from the impending DVD and audio album included Nursel Mandiopera’s Praise Him and Vickie Storm’s powerful performances of Jesu Wami and Hero, where she was joined on stage by musician and former member of Free to Worship Farai Muvuti.

This year the choir had the privilege of being joined by celebrated Rwandan singer Ivan Kigenza who blessed an ecstatic audience with traditional Kinyarwanda songs and dance.

“The songs were a wonderful mix of tradition, soul, amazing musicianship and vocal 'gymnastics',” said Music Director Aaron Manasta.

“I am so proud of the team and what they accomplished, and I cannot wait for the fans to get a copy of the DVD and audio album which will be ready to purchase soon,” he added.

I am so proud of the team and what they accomplished ... Aaron Manatsa

With an already pulsating night, former Joyous Celebration singer Ntokozo Mbambo changed the atmosphere when she joined the choir centre stage and belted out one of her best hits Jehova Is Your Name and Jesu Murisimbarangu written by the multi-talented Aaron Manatsa.

Music icon Zex Manasta also joined the ensemble on stage, and mixed things up a bit, taking the audience back in time with hit single Tii Hobvu.


The legendary musician was backed by the FTW team and talented sons Tendai and Freedom who also flew in for the event. Mrs Manasta also joined them on stage for the final medley of ‘Tarira Uone Ruoko RwaMwari’.

Hosted by Star FM’s Napoleon Nyanhi, affectionately known as Napster, and Bren “Mai Tippy” Mupa, the duo brought an infectious vibe to the show.

Production Manager Tawanda Saririeni said he was in awe and so humbled by the support shown on Saturday.

“It took us almost a year to prepare for the show and to watch everything come together this weekend was amazing.”

“We have so many gifted musicians who love the Lord and love music, and watching them bring out that passion on stage is such a fulfilling feeling.”

Old timer Zaxie Manatsa

Sarireni especially thanked all the sponsors, that included Steward Bank, EcoCash, Diaspora Funeral Cash Plan, Zimselector.com, Rose of Sharon Recruitment, Exodus Law Associates and Edmar Recruitment Services.

“Without our sponsors, this show would not have been possible, and I would like to thank them for believing in the group and believing in our vision.

“Many thanks to Steward Bank’s Tongani Mayalo who flew in from Zimbabwe to represent the brand. His wealth of knowledge and passion are priceless,” Saririeni added.

Founded in 2011, the group sits under the banner of Forward in Faith Ministries International (FIFMI), and over the years has brought together talented gospel artists from Zimbabwe, Botswana, Zambia and Rwanda.

In attendance at the show was the FIFMI church delegation, compromising of Bishop of Europe, JDK Samasuwo, the Forward in Faith National Administrator, Rev M Nyambo and Free to Worship’s Pastor, Dr M Kasese.

Preparing to launch their fourth album towards the end of November at a venue to be confirmed, the group are also planning to tour Zimbabwe early next year.

For more information, visit freetoworship.co.uk

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