The Port Elizabeth Opera House’s popular Music Concert Series returns to the Main Stage this April with the Gospel Edition featuring the finest Nelson Mandela Bay Gospel Artists! The soul enriching concert starring Nombongo Siyona, Andile B, Thembelani, Zodwa and featuring Sandile Mati and new Gospel sensation Tuni.
Nombongo’s love for singing was discovered at the tender age of 8 years whilst leading her Sunday School group in praise and worship. Having discovered Gospel Music as her true calling in 1996 she established the group ‘Heroes Of Faith’ and has never turned back and her star has continued to soar. In 2003 Nombongo released her debut album “Khuluma nam Nkosi’ followed by ‘Kufuphi Thixo Wam’ in 2006 which was produced by Mxolisi Mhlongo who has produced for Gospel super stars Dumi Mkokstad and Bethusile. Following the successes of her previous albums Nombongo in 2008 released her third album ‘uJesu Wam Uyaphila’ and shot and her released her popular dvd – a compilation of her chart topping hits and fan favourites, and her fourth album was released in 2014 ‘Ngizolibonga’. Nombongo is most proud of her community outreach work that she does throughout Nelson Mandela Bay and has been selected by the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality as an ambassador. This Gospel Power House endeavours to bring joy to the broken hearted and provide solitude and strength through her music.
Andile B comes from a musical family with all his siblings in the music industry. As many of his counterparts Andile B began singing at his church choir and would be a regular feature at his church’s annual Youth Festival. Having gained confidence through performing regulary at church functions and locally, Andile mustered the courage to enter Shell Road To Fame Competition and in 1996 he represented the Eastern Cape and unfortunately did not progress to the finals. In 1998 he ventured to Johannesburg in search of a recording deal. In 1999 he was selected after vigorous auditions to be part of Gospel super group Joyous Celebration performing and led duets with the likes of Brian Themba and Brian Makiwane. In 2001 Andile finally got his big break and signed with Sipho Mbele the late Lundi’s producer and released an Afro Pop album which didn’t do well in the market. Undeterred, Andile B then signed with Masiye and released his first Gospel album in 2002. He also became a backing vocalist for Jazz giants Winston Mankunku Ngozi and Bheki Mseleku. With the added experience from working with the Jazz musicians, in 2003 Andile B released his second album entitled ‘Jehova Jaira’. He took the huge leap in 2005 and started his own record label Babs Music Productions which birthed his fourth album. This is a poignant project as he worked with his brothers on it. Towards the end of 2006 Andile B a sought after backing vocalist too at the time was invited by Jazz divas Judith Sephuma and Gloria Bosman to perform with them at the Jazz Festivals circuit. As 2007 beckoned he worked with seasoned Gospel music producer and producer the revered Rebecca Malope Sizwe Zakho. In 2008 under the Spirit Of Praise record label Andile released ‘Ketsamaya le Jeso’ his best selling album to date. He has been a regular feature on tv shows such as Gospel Gold, Top Gospel, Gospel Time and 1 Gospe. He has been fortunate to have worked with some of the legendary South African Gospel artists whom have played a major to his success nationally such as the late Sfiso Ncwane, Vuyo Mokoena, Benjamin Dube and Solly Mahlangu.
Thembelani Mbilini was born in Grahamstown and raised in Motherwell Port Elizabeth. The Gospel Music bug bit whilst still in high school and pursued his interest by entering various local talent searches. He was signed by Bebula Music and in 2007 Thembelani released his successful debut multilingual album Iziqhamo. He was invited by Andile B on a countrywide roadshow tour. Due to the popularity and demand of ‘Iziqhamo’ Thembelani and his record label delayed the release of his second offering which was then released in 2010. On ‘Abangcwele’ Thembelani worked with his good friend and mentor Andile B. This combination proved to be a good one as ‘Abangcwele’ was one of the best sellers that year. Thebelani counts the release of his albums, DVD and appearances on Gospel Time, Gospel Gold and Move Magazine in March 2010 as his career highlights.
Zodwa Twecu is a true testament of strength, courage and determination. Having began her career as a member of The Real Christian Voices in Port Elizabeth as a young woman. The group released two albums ‘Stop Child Abuse’ and ‘Amandla Kuwe’. She later co-founded the group Intwenhle which performed locally at churches and private functions. She was scouted and became a backing vocalist much loved national Gospel artists namely Deborah Fraser, Sfiso Ncwane, Lundi and Kholeka. Performing with these Gospel greats was a huge learning experience for Zodwa and one that has left a lasting impression on her. In time Zodwa released her self titled debut album and was followed by the release of two more soul enriching albums ‘Ngilalele’, ‘Delile’ and ‘Ndiza Kuwe’. Zodwa counts being one of South Africa’s performers invited to perform in London as one of her most memorable experiences another as having shared the stage with the renowned international queen of Gospel Shirley Caesar. Having gone through heart wrenching tragedy of losing her mother, husband and step child within a week, Zodwa found new meaning in her faith and transformed her tragedy to a spiritually matured and powerful album entitled ‘My Life’ which was followed by the release of ‘Mdumiseni’. These two albums have certified Zodwa’s strong presence in the national Gospel scene. Another local act who will be performing on the 29th of April is Sandile Mati who answered the calling of performing and ministering through song at a young age He like many young artists seeking to make a success of their talent moved to Johannesburg in hopes of securing a recording deal. Whilst in Johannesburg Sandile auditioned for Joyous Celebration and made it as far as the semi-final round. Undeterred he was scouted to audition for Vuyo Mokoena and was selected to be his and Mthunzi Namba and Jabu Hlongwane’s backing vocalist. Sandile later started his own project called Mbongeni having identified a gap in the vast Gospel market. Sandile is now a member of the Nelson Mandela Metro Gospel Forum, an initiative which assists local Gospel artists in becoming more vigilant in their approach in serving the people of the Bay through music.
Shining rising star Tuni rounds off the acts the Music Concert Series Gospel Edition acts. Having been in the music industry as a backing vocalist for a number of years. She accredits her love of music to her grandparents who helped b=nurture her talent and to her family who are all singers and musicians. In 2016 after suffering two big losses – her mother and grandmother Tuni turned to music once more to help her through the pain. It was in that year that she released her successful live DVD. She has big plans for 2017, along with performing at the Music Concert Series, Tuni will be releasing her much anticipated studio album and continue the work she does with the Youth For Christ organization as well as the True Love Waits programme which motivates on the importance of abstinence.
Music Concert Series Gospel Edition is going to filled with foot stomping performances that will leave audiences revived and their souls enriched!
ABOUT THE CONCERT:
DATES: 29 April 2017
VENUE: The Opera House, Main Stage
FEE: R150.00 an Individual | R200.00 a Couple
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