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Dan Tshanda has been in the music business for a very long time. Since the mid 1980s, the man who brought us the anthem Peacock has been making a living through disco and pop music. The artist made music in his vernacular Venda at a time when few others did the same.
If you are a fan of Patricia Majalisa and Matshikos you will be happy to know that Tshanda is behind them. When the music industry changed in the late 1990s and early 2000s, fewer and fewer people were willing to listen to what he had to say through music.
“With the popularity of house music and kwaito not many people were willing to hear my pop and disco sound,” he said.
This meant he had to regroup and rethink how to survive in the industry. This is where the gospel music in him surfaced and he has pursued it ever since.
“I am a born-again Christian and in the past my fans have drawn parallels between my music and gospel so I took advantage of that,” Tshanda said.
As an experiment he released a double album in 2009 which contained samples of gospel music and he enjoyed the response he got from his fans. This encouraged a leap of faith resulting in a gospel record which he named Jehova.
“On the album I talk about how God never leaves our side. I was a big artist, but when other genres took over I was forgotten, but God did not think my time was up,” he explained.
Tshanda spoke to Tonight after having just returned from Botswana where he had been promoting his music in an initiative sponsored by Kalahari Brewery, a company that produces various brands of alcohol. But if you look at some of the things born-again Christians are against, you’d notice that alcohol is at the top of that list. This, in turn, is a point of conflict for Tshanda since he is now a clergyman.
“I don’t mind being around people who drink. I used to smoke and drink, but now I have stopped all of that. In fact, I use an opportunity like this to reach out to the people who are doing these things and tell them to continue with their lifestyles, but also remember that there is God,” he said in his defence.
Although he has let go of his old ways, Tshanda still performs his old songs so whenever a show comes to your area, don’t be surprised if he breaks from the church during the performance to take you back to Peacock days.
l Jehova is now available at music stores.