Musicians, born again or born against???
The music industry is a wily temptress that takes all the good years of musicians, only to spit them out when they are worn and she has had their way with them.
She leads them astray, into the pits of Sodom and Gomorah, seducing them to do things they would otherwise not, with the promise of fame and fortune.
Those weak of mind and spirit give in easily, and find themselves receiving the short end of the stick, without any of the promises being fulfilled.
This is the case in across the world, and Namibia is no exception. Most people would much rather believe that the scandalous sordid stories that they hear from the media are just mere fabrications on the part of the journalists to get more readers, as opposed to believing that they are actually true.
However it is evident from the number of musicians who try to free themselves from the clutches of the music industry that it is not all wine and roses.
Over the years, a number of artists have attempted to give up the destructive worldly ways that they have come to learn in the industry and become born again, unfortunately the success stories are few and far between.
Qondja, Slammer, T.C and Ru, are some of the notable artists to have committed their lives to God, with the two latter leaving the industry indefinitely.
“Being born again should be simple to some degree but people complicate it. A born again person is simply a person that understands that they are separated from God because of their sinful nature and realise they cannot overcome it on their own and trust on Jesus work on the cross,” Harry Msimuko said explaining what being born again is.
Msimuko, a born-again Christian, is one of the most renowned underground rappers locally, cultivating a fan with both born again and non-born again people.
“It (being born again) is a spiritual thing, not a behavioural management thing, which is what it is often mistaken for. It is a change of the inner nature,” he said.
Msimuko explained being born again is not just some superficial behavioural adjustment and that change on a person’s character, personality, and will, is a gradual transformation.
“That is where people (including artists) who flirt with the idea of being born again get daunted and want to become born again when they fix their lives but that’s not what being born again is about. The spirit changes you on the inside and gradually you began changing on the outside.”
He went on to say that in the music industry there is a certain demeanour of persona people want artists to have. Lady May for example is known as risqué character. When she went into the Big Brother House people expected to see that side of her but they didn’t because thats jmere a stage persona.
In terms of pleasing fans and not losing them, artists have to maintain what attracted their fans to them in the first place. Relevance does not sell as much as controversy does.
“Being born again messes up that for you because people think it is about changing your behaviour. It wouldn’t be a challenge for an established artist to become born again if they presented their self’s as genuine articles from the start. They won’t change once they are born again,” Msimuko stressed.
Commenting on those musicians who became born again and decided to leave the industry for a while he explained that everybody’s walk of salvation is different, it starts differently. “There is no one size fits all to go about it. There are people who left the trade for a while to concentrate on growing spiritually and came back.”
Although award-winning gospel musician D-Naff said he no longer faces challenges being a born again artist in the industry, he said he was aware that the biggest problems fellow born against had in the industry which make them falter and backslide is money.
“Christians who don’t have money will be tempted to go secular for the money. They will be torn between the money and the word of God,” he said.
He added that other issues such as women/or men who are attracted to the fame and money that the artists gains might tempt them to backslide as well. Evidently explaining why some born again artists find it hard to stay on the straight and narrow.
D-Naff’s suggestion was that all born again artists commit themselves to serving God and making a difference and not be consumed by the prospects of fame and fortune.
Clive Willemse, the head of the Clive and the NOW Generation choir said that it was important for all born again musicians to be rooted in the church because they are battling their natural mind.
He explained that being a born again musician is all about praising God, while secular artists do it for self-gratification. The natural mind which wants to receive all the gratification and the praise is what they have to fight against.
“We have to be uncompromising in terms of our beliefs and faith,” he said, adding that he offers mentorships to the members of his choir, teaching them how to make God the star of the show.
“Secular artists who become born-again need to come into a new mind, they need to transition into a place where they understand that they are not getting praise anymore and God is. The more you praise him, the more you get elevated by Him,” he concluded.