Naome Gapara

BA in Accounting and Finance, 2015

BA in Business and Marketing, 2009

My name is Naomi Gapara a.k.a Ngcethe. I am almost 27 years of age. When I joined E.A.G.A in 2004 I was about 21. I have always had a passion for singing. I came to England just before I turned 18. On our way from the airport my brother advised me on what to do if I wanted to survive in this new country. This was going to be a whole new experience, many things were going in my head, I thought I was now old enough to make my decisions, remember, I was about to turn 18 I had left both my parents back home, thirdly England is a completely different country from Zimbabwe. The cultures of these countries are mighty opposites.

My brother said it would be so hard if I chose to live my life without Jesus. This was more than enough for me. I understood what he meant, so I started searching for God, in my searching I was picking up everything I see in different churches. I started reading books, thinking I was going to find Jesus in a book. However, my search was in vain because one can never know Jesus by just reading a book.

Singing in a massive choir was always my dream, so when I went to Kingsway's International Christian Centre known as K.I.C.C, I wanted to join their choir but that was impossible because I had made Leicester my home. I had heard people sing and all the time I heard someone sing I would wish I could sing just like them. I also used to look up to people that write their own songs. I thought they were created with a special head that is able to compose songs but little did I know that Jesus has got it all. All I ever wanted pertaining to God I found in E.A.G.A.

In E.A.G.A we are encouraged to be ourselves. For instance, those people that do not know themselves like me, who used to want to sing just like everybody I had heard sing, learnt, through E.A.G.A to appreciate singing as how God made me. Some people like to call it the Empowerment Centre, a place where people from different backgrounds meet to lift up the name of Jesus in various ways such as dancing, singing, doing drama, as well as signing so that the deaf can know what we singing about. Through the choir we have seen the power of singing, which we refer to, as ministering because we do not just sing for singing sake but we sing to lift up Jesus who is the centre of our joy and who is our life change.

We know that God is alive and God speaks to His children. God commanded us to write our new songs and people like me didn't believe God until God sent a prophet to tell me that I was one of the people that could write songs. We were given a deadline to write 40 songs, which we had to present to the church. I thought this task was difficult until I was taking tunes and lyrics of songs such as ‘Kumbaya my Lord Kumbaya' and then making the rhythm slower so it seemed like it was a new song. I thank Jesus Christ because there are so many things I wouldn't have known if it weren't for him. I wouldn't know that I can write songs, not just in English, but l have written a number of songs in Zulu and Shona which I know will change many people's lives. I am glad to know that when we sing we touch people's lives. E.A.G.A has impacted the city of Leicester, as it has not changed only my life but also the lives of many people.

Although I didn't do well in my undergraduate degree, I thank God that he has given me a chance to do a Postgraduate in Accounting in which I will do God's best .The sessions in EAGA are empowerment sessions where we learn that ambition is an essential element for success. Without having ambition we will never be able to reach our full potential. Everyman has been commanded to have ambition. We are therefore encouraged to do our work in schools and university. I am glad to say this is where I found Jesus and I know that if I had not come to this place I would have returned to Zimbabwe a long time ago. All the thanks to Jesus Christ who is the leader of E.A.G.A, Thanks to the presiding Bishop Mark Anderson, our two coordinators Pastor Samuel Gapara and Sister Ellah Kandi and our E.A.G.A Committee.

My dream has been fulfilled as I have been singing with different people from many different backgrounds, different races and different languages. Thanks to the Super Sopranos, Terrific Tenors and the Amazing Altos. In E.A.G.A every form of discrimination is eliminated, as we are required to be one because when all harmonies come together they produce a great piece . One of the most important requirements to join the choir is a Smile. Conclusively because E.A.G.A has done so much in people's lives like changing drug addicts to Jesus addicts, prostitutes to Jesus ministers; many shy people have come out of their shells and many talented people now use their talents in praising God in different ways. This gives me hope that many people’s lives are yet to change.