Music – through its ability to evoke emotion, create identity and change perspective – is a powerful tool for reaching the next generation. In Tanzania, where 75 per cent of the population is younger than 30, OM artist Steven Chuchu is creating culturally relevant worship songs, using traditional instruments and local languages, to share the message of Jesus across communities with no knowledge of the gospel.
Despite being a tourist magnet that draws people from around the world to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro, go on safari in Serengeti National Park and relax on gorgeous beaches bordering the blue-green Indian Ocean, Tanzania is also home to almost 6 million people who have never heard about Jesus. Many of these unreached people live in predominantly Islamic coastal villages.
Two years ago, Steven released an album of traditional Tanzanian music, including songs in both Swahili and the Kuria language, with messages and themes drawn from the Bible. Mimicking the music heard at celebrations and ceremonies throughout Tanzania, many of Steven’s songs encourage people to come together and dance. By choosing traditional, live instruments to record his songs, Steven is creating music that allows Christians to worship in their own cultural style and language, and it also provides a pathway for the message of Jesus to spread to people across the country who do not yet know Him.
Thanks to your generosity, Steven was awarded an OM Inspiro Arts “Alliance Grant” this year. Your partnership is enabling him to start a new indigenous worship music recording project, in collaboration with people living in the Mara region, that can bring the Good News through song into many households across Tanzania and beyond.