The Heart of African Artist Tembalami
Step into a Body & Soul class, and prepare to be transported into a stress-free zone for the next hour, far away from the worries of the world. One student quoted that Body & Soul is music to her soul – one of the many wonderful things about Body & Soul is the music that we use in our classes – it certainly makes it the unique and incredible programme that it is.
Recently, for the first time, Body & Soul introduced the African song “Tomurumbidza” into Dance Blast. What a blast ladies had across the globe as they worked out in true African dance style to this fantastic up-beat track by Tembalami. Bringing different colours, cultures and creeds together in faith and fitness is what makes Body & Soul so special.
You will be blown away when you learn more about the artist behind the music. Tembalami, one of five children, was born in Zimbabwe, Africa, and started singing in church at the age of 11. Music became his passion and at 19 years old, Tembalami cut his first studio recording as part of a gospel group called The Burning Bush. Soon after, he started a choir called ZimPraise with his best friend and five other musicians. Zimpraise today is the most popular gospel choir in the nation. In 2011, Tembalami launched his first solo album “Brighter Day” and the track “Tomurumbidza” was an instant hit on Youtube, exceeding half a million views and this opened doors to the international market. His second album, featuring artist Bayete, went straight to number one on the charts in Zimbabwe and Kenya. But Tembalami does not rejoice in the success, as much as he rejoices in the message behind the music. He sees the songs as a way of expressing his love for God and His people and he firmly believes that music can not only heal and inspire, but also change lives.
This belief motivates his music and his work outside the studio. He has a vision to inspire, build, motivate, teach and lead our generation from hopelessness to triumph, by modelling a Jesus-centred lifestyle. He currently runs a programme in many high schools in Zimbabwe to equip the the students for servant leadership. He uses music as an entry point but ultimately his goal is to train the children to lead youth groups within their schools. He assists the underprivileged schools by donating his music, teaching materials, and sourcing sound systems. He has done much to influence the youth of Zimbabwe!
Tembalami has been generous with Body & Soul, as well. He has allowed us to use his music, copyright-free. And Body & Soul has supported his work, by donating two speakers for use in Tembalami’s youth group projects. What a joy it has been for Body & Soul to partner with an artist with a heart like Tembalami’s.
Kate Lawton lives in Zimbabwe and is Body & Soul’s Regional Director for Africa.
Pics provided by Tembalami and Kate Lawton.