Singing Culture

A Study of Gospel Music in Zimbabwe

Ezra Chitando



This study examines the historical development and social, political and economic significance of gospel music in Zimbabwe. It approaches music with Christian theological ideas and popular appeal as a cultural phenomenon with manifold implications. Applying a history of religions approach to the study of a widespread religious phenomenon, the study seeks to link religious studies with popular culture.


As anyone who has traveled to Zimbabwe over the past ten years can attest, gospel music has become a ubiquitous element in the Zimbabwean soundscape, in shops, private homes, and the emergency taxis... Yet the ever-expanding literature on Zimbabwean music and popular culture has made little mention of gospel's obvious importance to late twentieth-century Zimbabweans. - Tony Perman, H-SAfrica


Ezra Chitando is Professor of Religious Studies in the Department of Religious Studies, Classics and Philosophy of the University of Zimbabwe. He also serves as theological consultant for the Ecumenical HIV and AIDS Initiative in Africa (EHAIA).