Sunday, 17 September 2017

Joseph Madziyire Rebuffs Critics - Zimpraise Festival Was A Big Success

As Zimpraise we are happy that what we wanted is what happened. We have no regrets. We capitalised every moment that we had and soon great things are coming from Zimpraise.

I am quite impressed by the fact that we managed to host the festival of that nature. In fact, I am more impressed with my team. The fact that we managed to prove that we can do something for ourselves only gives me joy.

It has been a festival with a difference. It has always been my dream to have a festival of that nature.

The festival incorporated all the aspects of Zimpraise’s vision that include education, entertainment and spiritual or ministry.

Business was represented by the business leadership seminar while workshops represented the Zimpraise educational system, the entertainment was covered by the senior choir and the Zimpraise kids’ performances.

The preaching services represented the Zimpraise thrust on ministry or the spiritual aspect. I always wanted a festival were everyone could find something helpful and it has happened.
Joseph Madziyire Rebuffs Critics - Zimpraise Festival Was A Big Success
Bringing Bishop TD Jakes was a difficult task. It was not a walk in the park; it was a very huge mountain that we climbed. We faced a lot of discouragements, sometimes I cried but I also prayed a lot. If it was not of prayers I could have given up.

It was not just the demand or expectations by Bishop Jakes, his team and Bishop John Francis but the fact that we needed to handle them properly considering their statuses.

When such high-profile people visit it’s not what they want but who they are that determines how prepared you should be. So at some point you think “can I really do it”.

I have always been a dreamer.

The other big thing about me is that I am a Christian and as Christians we are faith based. Before any miracle there is faith and if Jesus could do anything that He wanted to do we as Christians can do all things only by faith.

Also, remember that Bishop Jakes is a human being and if he is a person it means that he can be anywhere – even here in Zimbabwe.

Zimpraise is an interdenominational choir. We have members who are Catholics, Seventh Day Adventist, Anglicans and Pentecostals. As a result, the festival was open to everyone.

We worked with a number of churches as well as the Evangelical Fellowship of Zimbabwe. Some people or church representatives managed to come and some did not but we did send some invitations.

I am the one who was supposed to receive Bishop Jakes at the airport but programmes clashed and I asked for my dad to go and represent me. He went there with Dr Goodwill Shana and some members of EFZ.

People who are complaining that we did not provide food at the business and leadership seminar are misguided and I am surprised. We never promised that we were going to give people food; the event was called Zimbabwe Business Leadership Seminar.

It was a business talk, people were supposed to eat at their homes then attend the seminar.

We tried to work with everyone who wanted to work with us and I have no hard feelings against anyone. I am happy that Bishop Jakes came and the festival ended well.

We invited the Minister of Tourism (and Hospitality Industry) Engineer (Walter) Mzembi because we wanted him to capitalise on religious tourism and I guess he did.

I am happy with people who came. We had a seating capacity of 13 000 on the ground floor only. And on Saturday all chairs were occupied and some few bays were almost full.

On the issue of payment to gain access to the festival I was against it from the word go but people who I work with insisted that people should only.

They were saying we have some payments to make, it sounded logical.

But after I heard Bishop Tudor Bismark’s sermon I felt that we made a blunder. People had to come hear the message for free. That is when I announced that people should come for free.

I wanted to step down soon after the festival but Bishop Jakes and Bishop Francis had a talk with me. They told me not to step down and I listened.

Being a leader is so challenging, there is a lot of negativity. People will always point on the wrong things that you do despite the fact that you will be fighting hard to build something.

It’s so painful but because spiritual people talked to me I am going nowhere. However, I will appoint a Zimpraise managing director soon and I will remain the CEO.

We used more than US$250 000 at the festival but still it was not enough, we could have advertised more but resources limited us.

I think as Zimpraise we need to improve on individual growth. A choir that has many people is difficult to control and manage. But I think with much commitment from individuals and the availability of resources, we will go far.

Sometimes we try to do so much with limited resources and it’s very difficult. But people who will be outside the choir will be thinking that we are abusing funds. That is why they always criticise, particularly me.

As a choir we need also to improve on basic operations because we are compromising a lot. When we are supposed to put up 50 billboards we end up putting 1up 0 or less. So because of little resources our operations are poor.

The dream might be big but with limited resources you cannot go far. I accept criticism but only if it is constructive.

There are people who have direct access to me, but if I do something wrong or if they think that I have done something wrong they don’t come to me directly. Rather they post on social media and I ignore such comments and criticism.

People are trying to build their brands through attacking me or the choir. However, if you have a destiny, criticism and people’s opinion will never stop. If Jesus was criticised so we are not immune to criticism.

Joseph Madziyire is the CEO of Zimpraise gospel group. He was responding to questions posed by The Sunday Mail Society’s Desire Ncube following the conclusion of the recent six-day International Gospel and Music Festival.

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