It was glitz and glamour at Bulawayo’s Large City Hall as multi-award-winning gospel sensation Everton Mlalazi successfully launched his second album titled In The Presence Volume 2: God’s Grace on Saturday.
The gig, which was well organised, was strictly by invitation and many who passed by the venue were perplexed about what was happening at the well-curated venue, with some asking why the event was a secret.
There was no space or a loophole to gate-crash as private security officers were well deployed at strategic positions to ensure maximum security for guests.
It was something that has never been done by any local gospel artistes and that proved how unique Mlalazi is when it comes to distinguishing himself in as far as craft and creativity is concerned.
As the multi-lingual Mlalazi got on stage, he took his time to perform hit songs that were released as teasers ahead of the launch including Ndokutewera Muponesi, Nyasha Dzashe, Nomakunje featuring Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Zita Renyu and I Surrender.
Other songs to look forward to on the album that will be released on Friday (14 April) on digital platforms are He is Coming Back Again, I Need Thee, Yibo Laba, In Your Name, Rumbidzwai and Linamandla.
Why bring such a big event to Bulawayo on Easter?
Mlalazi said: “I love it here and it feels good to be home. I could have chosen any other place but I came to ekhaya to launch my album. It is emotional when I come here as it reminds me of my childhood.”
So intimate was Mlalazi to the extent that at the gig he opened up about his childhood to the audience in an interview on stage which took guests down memory lane from the artiste’s birth, his school days and university life where his music career started.
While doing so, a collage of motion pictures was presented on the background screen in order to give a picture to the narration of his life story.
“I don’t have musical talent but God gave me the ability to interpret His word. I sing my heart out because I want to interpret my story,” said Mlalazi, closing the life of his story.
The main man of the night was Mlalazi, hence, many music superstars including Mai Mwamuka, Pastor Barak, Asaph and Lady Tshawe sat down and enjoyed Mlalazi’s album presentation.
Award-winning Imbube ensemble Indosakusa had a chance to shine on stage as they performed alongside the host on his song Nomakunje which featured South Africa’s five-time Grammy award-winning group Ladysmith Black Mambazo.
After Bulawayo, Mlalazi said he would take the launches across the country.
“This was awesome. Last time we came here for the Homecoming Concert and now, we want to solidify our position here in Bulawayo because kusekhaya. We’re here at the Large City Hall because there’s so much history here.”
“From here, I will go to Harare, Mutare, where my wife comes from. We will go to Gweru, where I grew up. A little bit of my story has Gweru in it, so it will be really home coming again for me in Gweru. I think Masvingo will also be awesome, so definitely we will be moving with the gospel. This is the message I believe that everyone and anyone must hear,” he noted.
“That is what really pushes our music as great commission Mathew 28 verse 18 to 20, ‘Go you therefore’, we want to go therefore into the whole world. So we will start here in Zimbabwe, go everywhere into every corner and then as we go, we are going out as well in South Africa, Zambia, Malawi and United Kingdom very soon. We have so many plans in store because this gospel has to be preached everywhere in the world.”