In 2005, a new artist was ushered onto the gospel music stage: Rose Muhando, who was born a Muslim had converted to Christianity when she was nine years old. Through her music she was out to share her life story through music. Her songs ‘Mteule uwe macho’, ‘Yesu Nakupenda’ and ‘Nakuuliza Shetani’ became East Africa’s most popular gospel anthems. Gospel music from Tanzania was no longer just confined to Tanzanian territories but also spread across the East African region.
Ado November is among the best-known and most respected gospel singers in Tanzania. He is also the president of Gospel Music Association of Tanzania, dubbed Chamuita in Swahili. The main aim of the association is to provide a platform for gospel musicians and stakeholders to talk about their challenges, successes and the way forward. “Gospel music is a full evangelical ministry, which should be purely handled in a way that the daily lives of the singers reflect what the holy Bible says about the life of a born-again Christian. And since gospel music is all about singing the word of God, the songs should reflect what we sing in our daily lives,” says November, who has three albums to date, namely Safari, Amenitoa Mbali and Kijana Mzuri.
Since 2005, the Tanzanian gospel industry has witnessed the rise of many other gospel artists who have become big household names across East Africa. Among these artists are Bonny Mwaitege, Bahati Bukuku and Upendo Nkone.