TANZANIA is blessed with several high profile gospel music singers who have won acclaim both within and outside the country. One of them is 26-year-old Flora Mbasha.
Flora was born in Mwanza in 1983 to a Christian family. She is the second child of Henry Mayallah and his wife Caroline Moses Kulola.
Her father died in 1998. By that time they were living in Arusha and he left behind three children – Benjamin, Flora and Dorcus.
After the passing of their father they went back to Mwanza where they were raised by their grandfather Archbishop Moses Kulola of the Evangelical Assemblies of God Church in Mwanza.
“I have been in the hands of church since then. I thank my grandpa and grandma for taking care of me since my father’s death. They educated me until the time of my wedding,” she says.
Their mother was married again and gave birth to two more daughters named Suzy and Esther.
“My mother was later blessed with another baby girl given to her as an offering at church. My stepfather and mother took the responsibility of taking care of the child like their own, bringing to six the number of children in our family,” says Flora.
Flora married Emmanuel Mbasha on August 22, 2002 in Mwanza and they gave birth to their first daughter Elizabeth five years ago.
She attributes her success to high cooperation she gets from her husband who is also a singer in the same group. Emmanuel leads the group staging shows as Flora commands the vocals.
“My husband has been of great assistance to my success,” Flora says.
“He has supported me by giving the right advice and guidance that has led to what I have today. We have written together songs and performed in all albums that I have.
She completed her secondary education at Taqwa Secondary School in the Mwanza City in 2000. But she started her music career since childhood at home and went up practising at church, where she joined a church choir.
Quite creatively, she practiced singing by imitating accomplished singers she watched in churches and at gospel crusades.
She singles out South African gospel singer Rebecca Malope as her role model.
“I started singing at an early age and I was singing with the Bugando Divine Singers in Mwanza city,” she says.
“Later on with the support of my husband I was able to record my first album called 'Jipe Moyo Utashinda' at Backyard Studios under producer Hingi,” she adds.
Songs in the album are ‘Jipe Moyo’, ‘Maisha Ya Ndoa’, ‘Hakuna Tatizo Kuu’, ‘Ukimwi’, ‘Yu Karibu’, ‘Aliteseka’, ‘Tunaye Bwana’, ‘Majaribu’, ‘Ahsante Yesu’ (Hip-Hop) and ‘Kila Jambo’.
She later released her second album, ‘Unifiche’, which has eight tracks -- ‘Tanzania’, ‘Nifiche’, ‘Faida Gani’, ‘Twende Kwa Yesu’, ‘Ninalia’, ‘Kwa Kupigwa Kwake’, ‘Kristo Amezaliwa’ and ‘Tupendane.’
"I thank God for the outcome of the second album and I received an award as the best new Gospel Singer in 2004. I wrote a song for my country titled 'Tanzania' that made me known inside and outside the country," she says.
In 2008, Flora released her third album titled ‘Furaha Yako’, which has 12 songs.
They are ‘Furaha Yako’, ‘Rudi Nyuma’, ‘Adui Yako’, ‘Tutamwona’, ‘Nibariki’, ‘Tufurahie’, ‘Mteule Usiogope’, ‘Natembea na Yesu’, ‘Anaweza’, ‘Jerusaleme’, ‘Mwanamke’ and ‘Usife Moyo’.
Flora’s dream of becoming a musician, specifically an accomplished gospel singer, came true in 2004 when she won the new Gospel Singer Award.
“I’m naturally talented in gospel music,” she says. “My family supports me in every step I make in music.”
She says her intention is to make people be born-again Christians and that’s why her songs are full of God’s messages.
“I usually preach through music,” she boasts.
Flora has toured several regions in the country to spread the Gospel through singing in public shows.
“I’ve managed to win the hearts of many gospel music fans, especially those who have no money to pay for music concerts,” she says.
Her vision is to work for Jesus Christ until the day of her calling.
“My ambition is to work for the Almighty God in my life. People should change from drug addictions, alcohol and prostitution and turn to God,” says Flora.
“I have the desire of reaching out to youths who have not found Christ so that they turn to God for their lives. My heart really burns when I see youths engaged in drugs and immoral behaviour,” she adds.
Flora is dedicated to raising funds for the needy and sensitizing leaders and decision makers on the need to help orphans whenever the chance arises.
Her hobbies include singing and chatting with friends.