GOSPEL GROOVES with FELIX NYMABE
THE year 2014 will go down in the Zambian annals as one which experienced all the bitter sweet memories that will not be easy to wipe out.
Not only did the country experience some unprecedented growth spiritually as we celebrated our 50 years of independence, the nation was, again, in national mourning following the demise of fifth President Michael Sata.
A huge blow it was, not only to the nation, but to the Sata family and the Patriotic Front, which was celebrating its three years in government.
But with Godâ€™s comfort and the gospel musicâ€™s intervention, the country moved on, believing mourning may endure in the night but joy comes in the morning.
The year began with some amazing revelation from Kristin, a member of Kings Malembe Malembeâ€™s Royal Gospel Family following the release of her second solo album titled Elesa.
The gospel diva had in January dropped her video of Muteke-meya, while her new album, the sequel to her life-changing album titled Fyonse, only arrived later in September.
Other notable releases in January came from the Shalom Family with another comforting album titled Lesa Wesu, before Karen ushered the worshippers with her new album Another Level, in February.
Karenâ€™s two albums, which included Roho Yabwana and the Anointed Boysâ€™ Ichipumbu, set the tone for the annual Zambia Music Awards (ZMA) in the same month.
Incidentally, Karen and the Mt Sinai Choir walked away with the Best Female Gospel Artiste and the Best Choral Album, respectively, during the ZMA awards.
Having missed out of the ZMA awards, Waston Kazembe still walked head high with his new album titled A Prayer for Zambia in mid-March, only to receive the untimely death of B3â€™s Marvin Kasomo on March 3 with great shock.
Marvin, whose songs such as Balikabalika and Ntumeni had redefined gospel music, passed on in a road traffic accident near Kabwe. He was buried in Kabwe, his home town.
However, during the tribute performances at the Mulungushi International Conference Centre in Lusaka, Dr Solomon Jere handed me his new album of Gwede Gwede.
The Peace Preacherzâ€™s latest DVD, R Sindy Zâ€™s new single titled Tsikani and Luisâ€™ Nilisa album took centre stage in April during Easter.
I chose to â€œsneakâ€ into the Olympic Youth Development Centre (OYDC) for an awesome prophetic and deliverance crusade hosted by Enlightened Christian Gathering Church.
Hosted by Prophet Shepherd Bushiri and Apostle Shammar Bushiri, the crusade lured several gospel artistes with Kings and Pompi almost literally stealing the worshiperâ€™s faith.
In May, Steven Chanda and Regina Mwale had reasons to celebrate as they released their second and debut albums Ndesekelela and Nimwe Ndubula, respectively.
Shekinah Praise Teamâ€™s Ikila Yahweh, Kingsâ€™ Shut Up (Let God speak), Martin Kazembeâ€™s debut album Nganapepa, 1 Matteyoâ€™s Godâ€™s Time and Shalom Familyâ€™s single No Delay, all arrived in June.
The last quarter of the year had some fine releases with Karen and Debbieâ€™s DVD collections, Sylvesterâ€™s Monekeleni, Penjaniâ€™s Fill Me and Petershakesâ€™ Isampo, heading into jubilee celebrations on October 24.
The Great Chroniclesâ€™ Amakwebo, which features Kings, as well as Lawrenceâ€™s Naileta, Mweshi Mulusaâ€™s Jubilee album, Jennipher Nakanyikaâ€™s second studio album Kanabesa and Lewisâ€™s Nasala, all came amid a sombre atmosphere.
Despite having simultaneously revealed the presence of Jesus Christ in our lives, the albums were almost the comfort we needed following the death of President Sata on October 28.
And Lusaka was â€œcrossing overâ€ into the New Year with Ephraimâ€™s â€˜2014 Cross-over Worship Concertâ€™ at Mulungushi International Conference Centre on December 31. Welcome 2015!
GOSPEL GROOVES with FELIX NYMABE