Celebrating one of the pioneers of gospel music in Cameroon, Tiko-based artiste Mary Mandi.

When people speak of gospel music foundations and pathfinders in Cameroon, there won’t be three complete sentences without the mention of Legendary Evangelist Mary Mandi.

Mama Mary Mandi is from the Center region but currently based in TIKO, her mother and grandparents were musicians. Her grandfather played what is called “mmeh njang” in ewondo language (the xylophone ) and her grandmother used the mouth accordion to sing.

At age of 4 or 5, she composed a song titled “Usoh” meaning the river in ewondo language. At that tender age, with the encouragement of her grandmother during the empire days in the mid 50’s she already started mounting the stage. The traditional instruments mostly used in those days were “mmeh njang” (the xylophone ) and the native drums called “ngom”.

When she got born again in the mid-70s, she joined the full gospel church choir in TIKO where she started developing her musical talent by learning how to play the box guitar. They sang praise and worship songs using the “belle someo” drums. They had no microphones nor did they have all these modern sophisticated instruments that are used today. In those days, she used to sing during crusades and marriages without a microphone.

Mama Mary’s inspiration is from the Holy Spirit who inspires and gives her songs to sing for His glory. Her mother and grandparents who put in a lot for her training were equally an inspiration to her. As a gospel artist by God’s grace, her purpose is to minister the good news of Jesus Christ to people through Gospel songs so that people can genuinely repent, and accept Christ as their personal Lord and Savior.

Through her work as a gospel artist, mama Mary is out to let people know that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life, and the only name through which man can be redeemed. Her greatest satisfaction as a gospel artist is when she hears people testify in church or say they surrendered their lives to the Lord Jesus Christ through her songs “Na weti be man”, “for God so loved”, etc.

Mama Mary has recorded about 9 albums and some singles. She has been blessed with some gospel music awards from some churches, individuals, and the government. Mama Mary is amongst the first female gospel music pioneers in Cameroon who sang, played, and recorded the modern bikutsi and makossa rhythm we play in churches, crusades, and other gospel programs today.

She deserves to be honored for generations.

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