By STEPHANIE KUNDA –
NDOLA-BASED gospel artiste Gabriel Lesa Mandefu who goes by the name Gabby has released a new album called “My Destiny.”
In this album which has 10 songs, Gabby features Frank Mwitwa (1FM), Kasaka and Reuben.
Gabby says he is excited about the album because as he was growing up he never thought never thought that he would make music that would draw so many listeners. Like many musicians Gabby used to play circular music before diverted to gospel.
This was after he joined Dynamite Praise Team in Ndola’s Ndeke Township.
At the time he joined Dynamite Praise, he met Webster Chiluba who is better known as Kasaka from whom he learnt everything about operating the keyboard.
After a span of time, Gabby became Praise director and started to compose songs for the team.
The team would go for singing competitions and would win thanks to the songs Gabby helped compose.
Gabby was inspired by this and that’s when he released his first song ‘Kuchalo Chipya’ and followed it up with his second called ‘Bwacha Uluchelo’ which featured Kasaka. The two songs won him recognition.
Gabby said Kasaka and Robam Mwape who is better known as Mwine MUshi have been more like his mentors as they guided and encouraged him.
The duo, Kasaka and Mwine Mushi also encouraged him to try acting, which he did and played the part of Gilbert in “Mwine Mushi soaps.”
Gabby said that involving Kasaka in functions helps him gain more exposure as he performs in front of huge crowds who seem to enjoy his music and request for CD’s after the shows.
Sharing the stage with various big artistes such as Kings Malembe Malembe, Ephraim, Suwilanji, Danny, Oliver Mutukuzi, Macky 2 and JK remains an inspiration to him.
He explains how gospel music should not be about one getting fame and money, but that it should be about ministering Gods word through music.
“Gospel is about ministry and not entertainment. Ministry must start within you before you start administering to people,” he says.
When asked to comment on artistes getting involved in politics, he said he was against the thought of singing in favour of a politician as it did not add any value.
He added that some artistes have now taken gospel as a competition, which should not be the case.
“What I know about gospel music is that it is not competition. Some people sing for fame or money nowadays.
When it comes to preaching, preach for God and not to get paid at the end of it,” he said.
He expressed excitement about two concerts he held early this year, one at Broadway and the other at Masala’s Saint Paul’s congregation in Ndola, which had so much impact as the turn out was impressive.
Gabby said that he performs every year at the Zambia International Trade Fair, which he feels is a privilege.
He looks forward to gaining international recognition as he does reggae gospel. He said that he does not want to limit himself within Zambia because gospel ministry needs to to benefit the whole world.
Gabby also said that he will be soon working on his third album with Atson Mumba who owns blasters studio in Itawa, Ndola.